Sunday, December 18, 2022

Five top SFF novels about unrest & rebellion

At James Davis Nicoll tagged five top SFF novels about unrest & rebellion, including:
The Drowning City by Amanda Downum (2009)

The rulers of Selafai have a simple dream. They will dispatch spy/necromancer Isyllt Iskaldur to distant Symir, where Isyllt will exacerbate tensions between Symir and their Assari Empire overlords and provoke an uprising that will distract the empire from its predatory intentions for Selafai. The consequences for Symir will no doubt be horrific, but that is a price Selafai is willing that Symir should pay.

Alas for poor Isyllt, while Symir is known as the Drowning City, it could also be called the city of a thousand contending factions. Compared to veteran Symir schemers, Selafai is a land of naïve children. Symir has no time for foreign plots, because it has far too many of its own. Isyllt will do well to survive the learning experience currently bearing down on the visiting necromancer.

The abject failure of the Selafai plot to launch is pretty hilarious, although the violent events that transpire in place of the failed plot are not at all funny. I guess the lesson here is that if you are setting out to manipulate a distant community, pick victims who are not far more politically sophisticated than you are.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue