Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Nights of Villjamur: Legends of the Red Sun 1 Paperback – 1 August 2010
Enhance your purchase
About the Author
Mark Charan Newton was born in 1981 and lives in Nottingham. Nights of Villjamur is the first book in the Legends of the Red Sun series and he is now well into writing the next.
- Publisher : Tor UK (1 August 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 325 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0330461664
- ISBN-13 : 978-0330461665
- Dimensions : 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 641,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Review this product
Top reviews from other countries
The ideas are interesting. There's a baroque atmosphere to Villjamur that is undeniably enjoyable. The underlying plot featuring the painter has a genuine frisson of darkness and intrigue. It reminded me subtly of The Etched City, by KJ Bishop, or China Mieville's Perdido Street Station and I kept hoping that it would develop a similar level of genius and sickly sweet madness. It did not.
Part of the reason for this is that the author feels the need to tell you EVERYTHING. The characters are not allowed to breathe and speak through their actions. They are constantly pursued by the narration and their motives offered up to the reader. I skipped large sections in which characters pondered their awful and terribly naughty actions undertaken when acquiring immortality technology, stealing from the rich, resenting their employer, and learning from courtesans how to retrieve their wife.
I am sad to say that I also found the dialogue to be unbelievable and stiff. Again, the characters feel the unusual need to explain things to each other. The roguish male character is rude to his employer in a way that is not believable in someone who is entirely dependent on their position to save their dying mother. There is frequently a lack of awareness among the characters as to their status within the power structure and that does not make sense in a tyrannical society.
There are some beautiful moments. The revelation of the pig fanciers plotting beneath the city was enjoyably kooky and terrifying. Some of the dead men walking scenes were well handled. The painter and her paintings are a gorgeous element. These aspects could come together to tell a truly remarkable story. For some people I think this will be a brilliant book. However, if heavy exegesis, unbelievable social interaction, or awkward dialogue drive you bananas, I would suggest buying a different book.
The fantasy genre has been becoming so stale and tired of late that almost every book has the same generic blue print. Young boy or girl who is poor, gets involved in a huge plot and becomes the unlikely hero, on the journey they meet a wizard, elf and dwarf who help them in some way to fulfil their quest. Its been done so many times before and quite frankly I am sick of it.
I stopped reading fantasy a while ago as I was so tired of the same old twists and plots, but recently decided to read 'Nights of Villjamur' after seeing reviews about Mark Charan Newton, a new fresh British author who's books were getting very mixed and interesting write ups. I have to say that 'Nights of Villjamur', along with 'City of Ruin' and 'Book of Transformations' are three of the best fantasy books I have ever read.
All three books in the series are in sequence but can be read as stand alone novels. The places, history and plots are so fresh and new, that they are simply fantastic, and it is nothing like I have read before (and I have read a lot of fantasy), there is so much going on that it keeps you hooked to the very end of the novel. Its just what the fantasy genre needed and please dont compare this book to 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Game of Thrones', like people always do, its like comparing yoghurt to meat and potato pie. Fantasy has to move on otherwise it would get boring, and Mark Charan Newton has certainly done this as far as I am concerned.
Nights of Villjamur and the other books in the Red Sun Series have revitalized my love of fantasy and its an amazing ripping yarn. Just give it a go and keep your mind open. If you really fancy reading new fantasy with fresh ideas and are bored of the same generic stories, I urge you to give this book a go - simply fantastic !
The setting is mainly urban, and the story in part describes the machinations of various political factions within it, especially as relates to the refugees outside the city gates in the frozen wastes. In general the author successfully walks the fine line between having the fantasy world resonate with our own, but not being to didactic about it. The plot itself, once it gets going, is fast moving and compulsive.
Oh, and the banshees in this book are a brilliant creation.
As I said, I've not read this kind of fiction for years, so I guess the real test is whether this book would impress me enough to make me buy the second volume.
It's a test it has passed with ease.
I have to say the story took a lot of getting into but on reflection that was no bad thing. It certainly wasn't because it was poorly written or boring. Far from it. It was intentional as Newton carefully created his world for me. One where an Ice Age is coming to a city called Villjamur, the centre of a millennium old empire. Along the way we are introduced to some very interesting characters all of which play central roles in the unfolding drama. No one particularly dominates the narrative which I liked although that may grate for people used to a main protagonist. Chancellor Urtica, a devious politician who is on a power grab after the unexpected death of his emperor; Dartun, an ancient cultist trying to preserve his life mainly at the expense of others; Brynd Lathraea a closet gay and career soldier, caught up in the machinations of both the politics and mother earth; Investigator Jeryd of the city's Inquisition who is investigating some very strange deaths whilst dealing with a personal crisis of his own making. And perhaps my favourite, Randur, a low born playboy trying to rescue his mother from certain death.
Interestingly the fantasy seems to play second fiddle or at the very least, a supporting role to the journey these characters are caught up in all of which is played out against the impending Ice Age and the social and economic impact this will have on the City. But when it's introduced it really left an impression on me. The Banshees, who mourn the dead as they fall, the living paint (ingenious) that causes death and the undead who are, well, not alive. Perhaps the only `fantasy' element which disappointed me slightly were the species introduced late in the story. They seemed a little unimaginative particularly after some of the earlier creativity and I was desperate for an inventive climax particularly after the buildup.
Newton is a careful writer. I get the sense that everything happens for a reason and is written in a certain way for a reason. I found that very comforting once I had attuned myself to the flow of the novel. It builds slowly, purposefully to an interesting climax which answers many questions raised along the way but leaves enough unresolved to carry you effortlessly into the second book.
All in all a great read. Mark Charan Newton has a convert and also got me hooked and I will be starting City of Ruin shortly.