The Book of Transformations by Mark Charan Newton
The Book of Transformations is the third book in the Legends of Red Sun, with the final book of the teratology out next summer (2012). The books in this series all follow pretty much straight on from each other but Mark has stated that his intention is for you to be able to read each as a standalone novel. Personally I've been hooked on the series since book 1, and that hasn't changed with this book. It would work as a standalone novel, but if you do read this one first expect to end up buying the first couple of books afterwards.
A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. But when a stranger called Shalev arrives, empowering a militant underground movement, crime and terror becomes rampant. The Inquisition is always one step behind, and military resources are spread thinly across the Empire. So Emperor Urtica calls upon cultists to help construct a group to eliminate those involved with the uprising, and calm the populace. But there’s more to The Villjamur Knights than just phenomenal skills and abilities – each have a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything they represent.
Investigator Fulcrom of the Villjamur Inquisition is given the unenviable task of managing the Knights’, but his own skills are tested when a mysterious priest, who has travelled from beyond the fringes of the Empire, seeks his help. The priest’s existence threatens the church, and his quest promises to un-weave the fabric of the world. And in a distant corner of the Empire, the enigmatic cultist Dartun Súr steps back into this world, having witnessed horrors beyond his imagination. Broken, altered, he and the remnants of his cultist order are heading back to Villjamur. And all eyes turn to the Sanctuary City, for Villjamur’s ancient legends are about to be shattered…
I'd never heard of Mark Charan Newton until the beginning of this year when I picked up the first two books in the Legends of the Red Sun. They are, Nights of Villjamur, and City of Ruin. This is Mark's first series and his writing style is developing throughout the series, and he appears to be having fun slightly tweaking his style with each book. I guess if you insist on categorising his books they are new weird fantasy!? If you want to find out more about the author you can find him on his blog at http://www.markcnewton.com/.
The big star of the series so far have been the Cities of Villjamur and Villiren. The cities are alive and teaming with hidden histories. In The Book of Transformations Villjamur is struggling to cope with an influx of refugees desperate for the protection of the City, due to the fact that the planet appears to be about to enter a bleak long winter / ice age. The city is still very impressive but with this third book the characters take over and the city itself takes a bit of a backseat letting some of the characters who inhabit it take over.
So, after the upheaval of the first two books we have a new man in charge of Villjamur. Emperor Urtica who wants to change things, and not necessarily for the better and of course it's not going to be quite as easy as he thinks it will be. Along the way he comes up with a rather insane idea of creating some superheroes to guard the city. I don't think he quite gets what he wanted. There are rebels who want a social revolution, and of course there are the thousands of refugees outside the city who are desperate to be allowed in against the oncoming winter.
Whilst all this is happening a group of cultists who left the city in an earlier book are meandering their way back, the only problem is that after they encountered aliens who were invading the land via the Boreal Archipelago their leader has been a little odd... Let the mayhem begin.
There is so much happening. I've not even talked about the mad religious guy, who it turns out might not be mad, but could really be in contact with an old god. Never mind when the ghosts start walking again.
Oh, just to add to the fun, did I mention that one of the superheroes that the cities cultists create is slightly different from the average superhero, mainly due to the fact that she's transsexual, which is awesome. She isn't a joke character, she is one of, if not, the lead character throughout the book, it's just a fact that she happens to be a transsexual. It's handled well in the book. You might giggle or squirm/wince a bit when her personal transformation occurs but she seriously kicks arse.
Villjamur as a city itself is transformed forever by the time you reach the end of this book. The title of this book pretty much sums this whole book up, everything changes, transformations abound, some for the better and of course some for the worse, and some with tragic consequences.
I'm not sure if this review is any good, but I am sure that this book is great, I love it, and think that it’s a great addition to the series. It's a long, long time since reading a book and series from a new author has made me this excited How he manages to fit it all into one book is amazing. The style of writing is so clean, no paragraph is wasted. This is such a pleasure to read. It's slightly mad in places as Mark gets into transforming everything in sight, but that just adds to the fun of reading this book. I really believe in years to come we will be talking about new authors, and asking, are they the new Mark Charan Newton?
I enjoy reading fantasy, sci-fi and crime novels. This is the best new series I’ve read since 2000, if not before then.
This The Book of Transformations book review was written by Stephanie Gelder
All reviews for: Legends of the Red Sun
Nights of Villjamur
Legends of the Red Sun: Book 1
An ice age is looming. Thousands of refugees descend upon Villjamur, hoping for refuge from the impending ice. But there's trouble all around. The emperor is growing in...
City of Ruin
Legends of the Red Sun: Book 2
The Book of Transformations
Legends of the Red Sun: Book 3
Have you read The Book of Transformations?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Book of Transformations reader reviews
Stephanie from Leicestershire
Hi Antonis. Hehe. Typo Tetralogy set of 4 ;-) is what I meant to type!! First review I have typed on an iPad. That's my only excuse ;-)
Antonis from Greece
Second line - teratology... hehehe you probable meant to write tetralogy. Teratology is an actual word but what it means is "the study of monsters" since teras (τέρας) in greek means monster or freak.To stay on topic, that was a nice review and this is a series I have very high on my to-read list. Hopefully I can find the time and start reading it before the end of the year!
9.3/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Emily St John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whil...
An illness spreads through an unnamed city. It has only one symptom: blindness. It comes without fanfare, pain, or warning. One moment a man waits in his car at the traffic...
The Reapers are the Angels
God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe... Older than her years and completely alone, Temp...
The Return Man
The outbreak tore the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco ma...
A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn...
First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
What are Strungballs? Ten-year-old Sydney is about to find out... but first he must have a cube of his flesh removed. Sydney will transgress everything he was taught to believ...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oat...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...
Dead Men Naked
After the sudden death of his best friend Neil, involving a 6-foot giant crow and quite some Tequila, Lou’s life takes an unexpected turn towards the impossible. As L...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...