The Conference Of The Birds bu Peter Sis: It's not often you find a book that does as magnificent job of telling a story through words and art work as Sis has done in this work. An adaptation of a classical Persian poem, it will appeal to people of all ages. The illustrations will delight younger readers and the text, while straightforward, contains sufficient depths to keep adults thinking. One of the most beautiful books you'll find on the shelves this year, or any year for that matter.
The Crippled God by Steven Erikson:The long-awaited, stunning, conclusion to Erikson's 10-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen series lives up to everything devoted readers have come to expect from the books. Human frailty, the hubris of immortals, bravery, spectacular battle scenes and the ability to recount great events and their cost on an individual level have been the hallmarks of Erikson's writing and this volume is no exception. This series established a new benchmark against which all epic fantasy will be measured in the future.
One would think that after 10 books, each roughly 800 pages in length, an author might start to run out of steam and ideas. That wasn't the case with either the series or its conclusion as we are held in thrall until the last page. Thankfully for anyone experiencing withdrawal from all things Malazan, Erikson's partner in world creation, Ian C Esselemont still has two volumes left to contribute. So while one segment of the journey may be completed, the voyage is not quite over.
The Map Of Time by Felix J Palma: The mystery of this book is trying to figure our what is real and what isn't. Told from a variety of perspectives, Palma has created a looking glass world where reality is dependant on who is doing the recounting. Yet even as various examples of time travel are revealed to be hoax after hoax, each subsequent adventure is described in such convincing detail by its narrator we can't help but think maybe this one is for real. However, how are we to know as we are at the mercy of both our narrator and the author himself?
It's a wonderful conundrum that stretches the boundaries of reality and keeps a reader guessing right to the last page. Palma has done a brilliant job of bringing late 19th-century London society to life, from the hissing of the gas lamps to the upper class's fascination with all things mystical. A pleasure to read from beginning to end.