Sunday 5 July 2009


Khesh City: a city of contrasts, where nothing is forbidden. Topside, it's opulent and extravagant; downside, it's dark and dangerous. It's a democracy - by assassination; the Angels are the city's assassins, the privileged few.

Taro lived with his Angel aunt, but when she was murdered he lost everything. Now he's on too many deathlists - but he may be the only person who can save Khesh from complete annihilation.

I found the concept of a floating city intriguing, and have to admit that's what first grabbed my attention about this book. Add a whore boy with a greater fate, a singer that's come to Khesh City for a secret purpose, a mysterious Minister, an overly-ambitious politician, a horrible bodyguard who'll stop at nothing, and an Angel who's so much more, and you've got the character ingredients for this unique story.

Khesh City floats above the surface of the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. It's a place where crime, pleasures and prostitution happen at every corner. When Taro's line-mother - who also happens to be an Angel - is killed by a ruthless man, Taro finds himself homeless. But not without purpose, because he's set his sights on revenge. Along the way, he finds himself caught up in helping the Minister, meeting a mysterious Angel called Nual, and in the clutches of a pimp that keeps his prostitutes doped up.

Elarn visits the city to perform in several places, but also has a secret mission, and gets involved with the alluring politician called, Vidoran.

What Taro and Elarn don't know is that they're both pawns in something a whole lot bigger.

I enjoyed Jaine Fenn's writing style and the depth of her imagination. Her characters were different and felt very real. Their adventure full of twists and turns that lead to an unimaginable conclusion. One that surprised me.

Principles of Angels is a great book with an excellent mix of science fiction, myth, and fantasy.

Principles of Angels, August 2008, ISBN 0575082925, Gollancz Paperback

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