“fluently written fantasy … shamelessly entertaining” – review of Necropolis on Risingshadow

On Risingshadow.net Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Necropolis by Christopher Nuttall, the third book in The Royal Sorceress series. Seregil says it’s “an enjoyable fantasy novel” that “won’t disappoint fans of the Royal Sorceress series.” In fact he suggests that Necropolis is even better than The Royal Sorceress and The Great Game.

Necropolis cover imageHe re-iterates his opinion that Gwen is “one of the most intriguing female protagonists ever to appear in alternate history novels” and adds that “Olivia is also an interesting character”. He describes the story as fascinating and Christopher’s writing as fluent, relationships being handled well. He enjoyed the different perspective Gwen has of her own society, while she is disguised as a maid, as well as the new setting, as much of the story takes place in Russia. This also leads to darker elements, as he says: “What the Russians did to examine magic was both intriguing and horrifying, because their approach to unlocking the secrets of magic was quite brutal and brilliantly disturbing. I’m sure that these experiments will be of interest to everybody who enjoyes reading dark fantasy. These experiments are described in a vivid, shocking and delightfully explicit way.” At the same time, he also enjoyed the “sharp and sarcastic humour” that Christopher manages to inject into the story.

Seregil admits that he doesn’t normally enjoy reading alternate history as many authors focus far too much on the politics at the expense of a good story. But he says that Christopher’s vision of an alternate Victorian world is very interesting, and that the Royal Sorceress series demonstrates that “alternate history can be entertaining escapism when the author focuses on magic, power play, relationships and social elements, and blends these elements with intriguing political elements.” He adds that he is impressed by Christopher’s ability to write about the alternate Victorian world as he “has managed to create a believable vision of a world that’s close to our world, but differs greatly from it, because certain people are capable of using magic.” He is also glad that Necropolis “continues to explore woman’s place in a male-dominated society” which he sees as one of the strengths of the series.

He concludes that all Christopher Nuttall’s fans will enjoy this book, and it is likely to attract new fans “because the story is shamelessly entertaining”. He sums up by saying that “Necropolis is good fantasy entertainment and excellent escapism for adult readers!”

You can read Seregil’s full review here.