This weird fantasy novel is Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s first, and the first in a series. The setup is familiar: it’s a story about a fantastic city with a cast of outsiders and outcasts. Guilds, churches, and the political classes squabble for power. Things take time to gather momentum, but once moving it doesn’t stop. The characters while pulpy are interesting and engaging.
This is a book that is comfortable leaning on familiar tropes, but doesn’t feel trapped by them. The inclusion weird fiction references from the likes of the Cthulhu mythos help the setting be both familiar, while retaining enough difference to be interesting.
While it’s the first in a series, it is a complete story in on its own. I enjoyed it, and will likely read a sequel.