Tuesday 1 November 2011

Review: A plague of Angels - Sheri S.Tepper

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi/ post-apocalyptic
Pages: 576
Published: Oct 13, 2011 (1994)
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: For review

Atop a twisting, canyon-climbing road, a witch lurks in a fortress built strong enough to keep out dragons and ogres. In an enchanted village, a young orphan is maturing into a beautiful woman. A young man seeks adventure in the big city after running away from his family and their small farm. Now a strange and terrible prophecy will set off a chain of events that will bring these three together, in a tale of heroism, romance and an age-old battle. But this is not the fantasy world you expect. The Place of Power is manned by strange, robotic creatures who leak radiation. The Archetypal Village knows what is expected of it, as do the inhabitants. In the city, gangs battle with guns and bombs. And the prophecy may lead to death for all.

My thoughts;
It is hard to describe this book, honestly it is just one of those books you have to read to understand. I have read a Tepper book before, and she does have a way to build a story. It's filled with marvelous things.

This book starts as fantasy, but nothing is as it seems. No it is this strange mix of fantasy and sci-fi and Tepper does it so well. She mixes things up and little by little I get to understand this world. Is it Earth? Is it a new planet? Is it a fantasy world? Well, I will not tell you that, read and see. What I can tell you is that it is a world that got destroyed by war, by stupidity, by humans. Some left for another planet and those left behind struggled to get by. In the countryside there are villages and farmers. In the cities gangs rule with weapons. In Archetypal villages archetypes live; oracles, prophets, heroes, princesses, witches. Why? To save the rest from those who might cause trouble. There are also Edgers who live behinds walls and have technology, and the place of power where Families rule and use androids. But there are also ogres and dragons in the forest. Like I said, nothing is what it seems. 

There you go, a world so strange, but still very real. There are reasons for everything and we get to know why things are like they are. Books are burned if they are older than 50 years, because if you can’t read about the past, you can’t remember it and you can’t go to war over silly things. There are people out there trying to save nature. And while I read I kept wondering what, and how. The clues are there and it was so fun finding out more. I love a well created world and that it sure is. 

About the story then. Well a young man leaves for the city and becomes a ganger. And orphan is taken to an archetypal village and at the place of power a woman wants just that, power, and to go to the stars. These stories are all connected. I liked Abasio, the boy who leaves for the city. He knows the cities are bad, his own mum had been a gangers concubine and fled. But still he leaves. Orphan is a mystery, and someone is out after her. But she is just a sweet girl. And then there are others that they meet, good people, and bad people. 

I liked it, it was a freaky book, in a good way. I love fantasy so of course I was all over that angle, and sci-fi is fun too. This mix here, more fantasy than sci-fi is another great mix. There is technology, just not much, or used that much. Therefore it makes it the more interesting. She also has a way to keep you interested, because you can’t see anything coming. 

What to call this book then? Post-apocalyptic, dystopia, fantasy, sci-fi, your call. Whatever suits you. And that is also its strong side, it can be something for everyone.

I do recommend it if you want to try something different. Tepper is a master storyteller and she will keep on surprising you. 

Interesting and good


  1. And what did you think of the cover?

  2. Not sure this is for me Blodeuedd. Just too many things in one.

  3. It has angels in it! I want it! Sounds very different from the books I read.

  4. oooooh. I'll have to check this out. I'm trying to shake up my reading list. Great review.

  5. The cover sucks, right? A great review and a book I would like to read! Thanks!

  6. Chris
    Well..no comment.


    It may sound so, but it is simple and complicated at the same time.

    Sorry to disappoint, but no angels in the true sense.

    Sometimes lists need shaking up and this one would do the trick

    Am I so obvious? yes I did not like it

  7. Oh this sounds interesting. Especially that it is freaky in a good way. ;D That pretty much sold me. :D

  8. so not for me....but I always enjoy reading your reviews!!

  9. This does sound different. Interesting about the book burning.

  10. "Books are burned if they are older than 50 years, because if you can’t read about the past, you can’t remember it." My heart stopped at this point. Oh, no!

  11. Am I so obvious? yes I did not like it

    I find our views concerning cover art very compatible indeed so no, you weren't obvious...

  12. Hmm.. sounds like another smorgasbord. Freaky but good. I like that and mixing genres and worlds is very cool.

  13. "Plague of Angels" does make me think post-apocalyptic thoughts. Sounds like a lot of freakiness going on in that book!

  14. Melissa
    I do like freaky, it is just so much more fun. And imaginative :D I am glad that sold it to you.,

    Aww thank you

    Oh those bookburners! A plague upon them!

    Yes it is not something a booklovers wants to hear...that means I could not read Jane Eyre...or Austen. The horror

  15. Ana
    Really?...you do know that I adore some very fluffy covers ;)

    There is so much more I would like to tell you all about this book but spoilers, spoilers.

    Lots and lots of freakiness, just as it should be. And the world was just so very fantastic

  16. Wow, this sounds like something I must read. I have one other Tepper book although which one is escaping me right now. I'll have to add this onto my pile as well.

  17. Hmm not sure, but I do like post-apocalyptic/dystopian/fantasy so maybe I'd enjoy it. Great review B

  18. Interesting book! This sounds like quite a lot going on.

  19. Darlene
    Do check the one you have :) From what I have seen her freaky style is the theme so i am sure you would enjoy the one you have.

    That is sure is.

    Honestly it is just one of those books you gotta try. It is either a hit or a miss perhaps.

    Lol, I am glad you do

    A lot of good things ;)

  20. This sounds like one of those stories that you really have to pay attention to in order to keep track of everything. But you said it was filled with "marvelous things" so I really want to try it now.

  21. Jennifer
    It truly is hard to explain in every possible way. Yes sure you gotta pay attention, but in another way it is really easy to do so...it gotta be read to be understood

  22. The title and cover are intriguing as is your review. This book has lots of aspects I like. Thanks Linda :)



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