I was excited to recieve a copy of The Carnival of Ash by Tom Beckerlegge as part of The Write Reads blog tour. Read on for my review!
About the Book
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Length: 528 Pages
Publishing: 15th March 2022
An extravagant, lyrical fantasy about a city of poets and librarians. A city that never was.
Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter.
Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present. A war that threatens not only to destroy Cadenza but remove it from history altogether…
This book was very creative and different from any other book I’ve read. It is labeled adult fantasy, rather than YA fantasy, so that could be partly why. It is well-written, written in the style of literary fiction.
The book was not exactly what I was expecting from the blurb, as it ended up being more political and historical than an actual fantasy story. And I was a little disappointed that the libraries played such a small part in the story.
I liked the world building, and I thought some of the characters were relatable. However, there were a lot of characters, so at times it could be tricky to keep straight who was who. Also, it was difficult at times to tell how the characters were all connected.
I think fans of political historical fiction will actually enjoy this more than fans of fantasy as there were no actual magical elements to the story.
Just FYI, there are some trigger warnings – violence and sexual content.
About the Author
Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.