Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

The Year of Our War USA cover The Year of Our War (2004, 2005)
2005 Crawford Award winner

Eos books USA trade paperback
384 pages
cover art by Christophe Sivet (left)

Gollancz UK hardcover
304 pages
cover art by Edward Miller (right)
The Year of Our War UK cover

From the back cover of the USA trade paperback:
       Unique among his fellow immortals and mortal folk alike, Jant Comet can fly.  His talent is a gift and a curse that has earned him a place in the Castle Circle as Messenger to the Emperor San -- soaring high and free above the bloody battlefields of his world, carrying word back to his master of progress and regress in the ever-escalating conflict between man and the awful armies of giant, flesh-devouring insects.
       But while Jant's duty is to remain neutral in the petty squabbles and power plays of the fifty who will neither age nor die naturally, bitter rivalries that have festered for centuries now threaten to incite a savage civil war.  And Jant may be the only being alive capable of stemming the onrushing tide of destruction and the unstoppable insect infestation.  For only he can gain entrance -- through extreme doses of the narcotic that owns his soul -- into a place of darkest wonders and revelations; a strange and horrific alternate reality that none but Jant Comet believes exists.

From the front flap of the UK hardcover:
       Jant is the Messenger, one of The Circle, a cadre of fifty immortals who serve the Emperor.  He is the only immortal, indeed the only man alive who can fly.
       The Emperor is seeking to protect mankind from the hordes of giant insects who have plagued the land for centuries, overwhelming towns with their beautiful nests, eating everything and everyone in their path.  But he must also contend with the rivalries and petty squabblings of his chosen immortals.  These are squabbles that will soon spill over into open civil war.

Read for group discussion on April 26, 2006

How we each rated these books
Dan - Amy - stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 7 Barb -
Aaron 7 Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron -
Christine - Deb -
Mike 7 Stephanie 7
Gary - Patty -
Andres - Shannon -

Steph Swainston (1974-    ) is an UK author of fantasy.  Her books are considered a part of "the New Weird" subgenre.

Awards and nominations
2005 Crawford Award for first fantasy novel The Year of Our War
2005 nominee for John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

The Castle series, or Fourlands books
--The Year of Our War (2004, 2005), her first novel
--No Present Like Time (2005)
--The Modern World (UK 2007) (US title Dangerous Offspring (2007))

Official site of author Steph Swainston
Steph Swainston - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Year of our War by Steph Swainston - an infinity plus review (1)
The Year of our War by Steph Swainston - an infinity plus review (2)
The SF Site Featured Review: The Year of Our War (1)
The SF Site Featured Review: The Year of Our War (2)

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This page was last updated October 30, 2008