The Islanders

 

Read by Michael Maloney

Description: Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you.

The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters.

The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator.

A travelogue or gazetteer (think Lonely Planet or those ‘destination in the spotlight’ articles in the rags) of an extensive archipelago strung around the surface of an alien planet. We are shown a handful of the islands, with names and patois nomenclature, climate, geographical quirks and even some miltary history. The delivery is in a ‘just the facts ma’am’ manner, detatched and clinical, adding to the underlying uneasiness.

Aay: Island of Winds: Academy of the Four Winds: artist-philosopher Esphoven Muy: ‘Islands in the Dream’ two-volume work. Died on Piqay
Dryd Bathurst: three celebrated paintings, one of which was a portrait of Muy. It is missing.

Annadac: Calm Place: Jordenn Yo: conceptual and installation artist.

Aubrac Grande or Aubrac Chain: Jaem Aubrac: entomologist

Cheoner: Rain Shadow: Kerith Sington: Prisoner. Akah Drester Commissah. Caurer (f) A sheet of glass moment

Collago: Silent Rain: immortality. Caurer again! Radical social theorist. Visker Deloinne: philosopher, author

Derill – Torquin: Sharp Rocks (previously Osly: Steep Banks Of Gravel): Glaundian Army Base

Derill – Torqui: Large Home/Serene Depths: Glaund Republic leases a huge tract of land. Dryd Bathurst(see Aay). Covenant

Deriil – Torquil: Dark Home/Her Home/Evening Wind: Faianland military base. Manifestation – Caurer Shrine.

It was at this point I found a wiki stub and notice that these islands were used in a previous collection of short stories

Emmeret: All Free: Emmeret family. Feudal. Ugger Park artists: poet KAL KAPES, danseuse Forssa Laajoki, painter DRYD BATHURST

Fellenstel: Spoiled Sand: the search for the killers of Commis started here.

Ferredy Atoll: Hanging Head: letters to Chaster Kammeston. ‘The Affirmation’ by Moylita Kaine.

Foort: Be Welcome: artist Tamarra Deer Oy

Gannten Asemant: Fragrant Spring: Dryd Bathurst ehibition

Goorn: Chill Wind: Akah Drester Commissah

Junno: Peace Earned: Faiand Federation. Journalist Dant Willer.

Keeilen: Grey Soreness: tidal-flood punishment cells

Lanna: Two Horse: poet Kal Kapes and his wife Sebenn, Dryd Bathurst

Luice: Remembered Love: Faialand Fed. Author Moylita Kaine

Manlayl: Half Completed/Half Started: Glaund Republic: earthmoving installation artist Jordenn Yo

Meequa: Bearer of Messages/Fast Wanderer: Lorna Mennerlin, Tomak, Patta, brad iskilip. tremm, jordenn yo

Mesterline: Drifting Water: poet Kal Kapes

Muriseay: Red Jungle/Threshold of Love/Big Island/Yard of Bones

At this point I shall cease naming because Priest is starting to link together occurences and I would hate to spoiler the whole caboodle.

Nelquay: Slow Tide

Orphon: Steep Hillside

Piqay 1: Followed Path

Piquay 2: Path Followed

Rowthersay 1: Declare/Sing

Rawthersay 2: Spoor

Reever: Hissing Water

Seevl: Dead Tower

Sentier: High/brother

Siff: Whistling One

Smuj: Old Ruin/Stick for Stirring/Cave with Echo

Winho: Cathedral

Yannet: Dark Green/Sir

This gazetteer, so entrancing to begin with, slid like this: \ , ended up a mere 3* and had the reader (me) sufferering from frustrated fatigue.

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