Select one of the keywords
Aspects    by John M. Ford order for
by John M. Ford
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

John M. Ford's work is lauded by fellow authors including Robert Jordan and Neil Gaiman, so I opened his final unfinished work, Aspects, with anticipation - but found it heavy going. It reminded me in many ways of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast - always intriguing, but leaving the reader wondering what it's all about and where it might be going.

Politics, magic, and sorcery abound in this alternate nineteenth century Europe, but there are also old friendships and loyalties, developing relationships, and sacrifice for the greater good. It opens on a legal duel in Lystourel, capital of the Republic of Lescoray. A young cavalry officer has challenged a Coron (like an MP) of Parliament, Varic, one of the two leads in the story.

This is the third such attempt on Varic's life by his political opponents. He heads to Parliament after the duel, where he advises and is entranced by Lady Longlight, a Coron from the Far West. He invites her to join him in a holiday visit to Strange House, where there are many very strange encounters with most unusual characters. Readers then accompany Longlight to her home in the mountainous - and often perilous - west.

I do wish Ford had been able to finish this story as he left me intrigued by his characters and plotline, ready to follow them to the conclusion, but frustrated by the lack of an ending. I expect that I will re-read Aspects over the years though, continuing to puzzle out its intent, and enjoying the author's poetry.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews