The Glittering Cage – Reviews
On Panoply Blog (http://creativepanoply.wordpress.com/)
I recently read The Glittering Cage by Richard Ireland. He’s recently released the book on Amazon, and I’m delighted to review it for him.
The book tells the story of Rift, a young man who finds himself in the intricate, beautiful world of Edria, with no memory of his past or who he is. At the same time, in a different part of Edria, Kelly also finds herself stranded in this world, in the palace of the Empress Nia. The difference is, Kelly knows exactly who she is and where she comes from, but has no idea how or why she’s ended up here. She gradually comes to realise that her young autistic son, Daniel, who disappeared and is presumed dead, may also be in Edria. Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and disturbed magic, Kelly sets out to find Daniel. Elsewhere, Rift is learning that something is very wrong with this stunning world and somehow, he’s the key to mending it.
It would be an understatement to say that Edria is richly imagined. The world is almost a character in its own right, shimmering with life, history, mythology, and a menagerie of weird, wonderful, and terrifying wildlife. The book has an almost mythic quality as Rift strives to discover more about himself and the darkness that is corrupting this pure environment. There are various twists and turns along the way, making the plot far from predictable. I found the pace flagged for me now and again, but the overall uniqueness of the story kept it fresh and sufficiently intriguing. The underlying theme of autism (the ‘glittering cage’ of the title) adds an extra dimension that keeps the book grounded in reality despite its sweeping fantasy elements.
Richard’s writing is elegant, smooth, and flowing. Edria’s philosophy is based on intricate themes and powerful imagery and he delivers these with effortless prose. The Glittering Cage is a unique read unlike anything I’ve read in a long time, and certainly fits the bill if you’re after something original.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Richard Ireland’s fantasy novel is a highly original book. The world of Edria is superbly imagined and rich with incredible detail. The story has a mythic quality that really drags you in, and the plot balances good vs evil with political intrigue, romance, and themes of loss and redemption. If you’re after something unique and intriguing that steers clear of well-worn fantasy tropes, this is your book.
5.0 out of 5 stars
I’m not great at writing reviews but I will say that you need to read this book. It’s an excellent read and i’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
The Glittering Cage
Rift’s short life should have ended at the bottom of a cold Cumbrian lake. Trapped in the glittering cage of autism without the wit or will to save himself as he drowns, he is swept up in the jaws of a mighty maaladon and carried down the Longways to the pure world of Edria.
The traumatic journey splits his already fragile mind. The only cure is brutal: all memories of his isolated childhood are cut out and discarded, and with them, the last desperate hope of Edria’s dying god Setti.
Ten years on, Rift is released into the world by his healers, their sad litany that god is dead ringing in his ears. He does not believe it. Edria is vibrant with the wonders of Setti’s touch: the immense maaladons who weave the Longways between worlds, the savage parators and impossibly swift hiydn of the vast heartlands, the elegant sword dances of the Elenan, and the almost magical stone works of the Lapilli.
A Pale Child is intent on destroying it all, and the world is powerless in the face of its manipulated hate. Only Rift, not constrained by purity can resist, for the Pale Child has grown from his own discarded memories, made corporeal by Edria’s innate lust for life.
Edria and its god are trying to make Rift something he refuses to be, but the only alternative is to sacrifice himself, and step into a glittering cage once again.