Almost beyond memory, in a desperate effort to remove the world’s great badness, all known technology was banned and an illusory state of Kate Greenaway’ish, ‘happy days gone by’ was instituted, named The Era. Here live the privileged, who plot and scheme for power.
Meanwhile, the bad have been incarcerated for centuries in a prison, sealed for all time, where desperate souls live and plot and scheme for survival. Some even fool themselves that there could be escape.
The plotting is intricate and the levels of legend and action are multi-layered. Envisaging this and sorting out the variety of characters in the conflicting worlds takes some doing.
Altogether this is a tense and complicated fantasy adventure read, which possibly needs two attempts to appreciate fully. As such it demands a tenacious readership.