Riding the Serpent's Back by Keith Brooke
"Keith Brooke's prose achieves a rare honesty and clarity, his characters always real people, his situations intriguing and often moving." World Fantasy Award-winner Jeff VanderMeer "A progressive and skilful writer." Peter F Hamilton, author of the Night's Dawn trilogy "In the recognized front ranks of SF writers." Locus A fantasy epic of revolution, jealousy and earth-shattering magic. An old era is drawing to a close, a new era about to begin, and the great mage Donn has passed on his Talents to a new generation. When a rogue church leader threatens to set loose wild powers, Donn's children must oppose him but, also, they must contend with Donn himself: the old mage has not finished with his children yet. Welcome to the magical island city of Zigané, endlessly adrift in the southern lava sea; the searing soda plains home of the Morani warriors; the impenetrable Zochi jungle, full of illusion and hidden hazard; the charmed fortress-like City of the Divine Wall; and Samhab, the fantastic First City of the True, built at the geographical centre of the Rift, where the magical powers of the earth rise up to be set free by the earth-charmers and mages. The novel's cast of shape-changers, earth-charmers, healers and illusionists must battle to save civilization from the evil rule of the church leader and his followers. For whoever controls the power of Samhab controls the future of the world.