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Location: /Fantasy
Power and Majesty  

Book Title: Power and Majesty
Creature Court # 1

Author: Rayner Roberts, Tansy

Read an excerpt from Power and Majesty

Format: paperback, 512 pages
ISBN: 9780732289430
Publisher: Voyager
Publication Date: June 01, 2010

Product Information
In the Daylight there are honey cakes and parades. In the time of Nox blood and violence falls from the sky.

A fabulous, original and engaging dark fantasy series ...

The mysterious city Aufleur is afflicted by a war that happens only at night. Most of the city is oblivious to the fact that they are in constant danger and defended only by the Creature Court.
This Court is a handful of powerful, emotionally damaged shapechangers who are themselves ruled over by a hard and tyrannical Power and Majesty ... but the magic of the creatures of the Court has a tendency to corrupt them, and the more powerful they are, the more likely they are to become psychopaths and monsters.
The current Power and Majesty dies and there is a struggle for the next leader. But it seems that the next Power and Majesty might, in fact, be female ... and unknown. Will she be able to control the extreme passions and powers of the Creature Court, because if the Court is no longer able to function, the daylight world will not survive either ... A story of jealousy, intrigue, politics and love ... a powerful story that looks into the heart of our own world and imagines it anew.



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Customer Reviews

Rosie 2010-07-18

I really must start off by saying that Power and Majesty has an absolutely gorgeous cover! The dark and imposing city, the threatening glow in the sky, the fragile beauty of the tulle slipdress bedecked with roses and just seen people falling from the sky. This cover is so perfectly evocative of the story and the way that Tansy Rayner Roberts is able to balance elements of light and dark, beauty and cruelty in this sweeping new fantasy.

Its this balance between elements that has taken Power and Majesty from being an interesting read to being a book that provokes a great deal of thought over the themes it introduces.

The concept of power is at the heart of the characters and events. How the search for power leads to cruelty, abuse and fear of having your power usurped and how power is not enough to be a leader. Then again having a lack of power will leave you at the mercy of others. It seems that it is only when power is balanced with a conscience that Majesty can be achieved.

But moving on from the deep and meaningful this is a really good read!

This first book of the Creature Court series gives us an Italianate setting in the city of Aufleur with a hidden world of people who can transform into creatures (think cats, mice, wolves etc) or into beings of energy in order to battle attacks from the sky. The known world is a sumptuous feast of festivals, the court of nobles and the lives of working people. Aufleur is a character in itself and lends an urban fantasy edginess to this adventure.

The plot revolves around the leadership (the Power and Majesty) of the Creature Court and who will take the place of the psychotic Garrett. The logical choice is Ashiol, but fearing the madness this position seems to inevitably bring, he does all he can to manipulate Velody, a local dressmaker, into accepting the mantle.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has an amazing skill at drawing rich, complex characters and making their personalities and feelings leap off the pages. Ash might be the major male character but hes not easy to like and, really, nor should he be after all that he has suffered. His journey to redemption is as painful and complicated as his background.

A lightness to the story comes through Velody (a truly wonderful lead character) and her two friends Delphine, a ribbonmaker, and Rhian, a florist. I love that these friends are so different from each other and yet utterly loyal to one another. Theres also a lovely honesty to the way that they work at building a business together because even when they have troubles and it seems that the sky is falling (literally!) they still have to finish their work commissions if they are to eat. These are hardworking young women making their way the best that they can, dealing with attacks, drunken mistakes and supporting each other through all that life throws at them. These little reality checks help keep this fantasy amazingly grounded in the human, and brings a depth of feeling and emotion to the plot.

I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback by the thought of people who could split into multiple animals - and by that I mean dozens of cats or hundreds of mice - at once. Then I had to laugh at myself amongst the complexity of the plot, politics and social structure, the pain, torture and graphic battles this was what creeped me out? Maybe it was all those little squiggling scampering brown mice? LMAO!

However my greatest objection comes from the interjection of new words like nox for night and demmes for women. Having built such a complex and richly fascinating world and described it in such a way that the reader enters it wholeheartedly, using these contrived words does nothing except interrupt the flow of the story with a jarring note.

Overall we have an amazing ensemble cast of characters, a sumptuous and evocative world, a skillful balance of complex emlements and a plot that covers a great deal of ground, but leaves many questions unanswered for future books.

Power and Majesty is a remarkable achievement and a start to a series I cant wait to follow.

Bookdepository Fishpond (NZ) Fishpond (Au) Amazon Booktopia (Au)

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