I can’t remember where I saw the recommendation to read Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem. I still haven’t, but I did spot The Wandering Earth on my last flying visit to the Barbican Library, so I picked it up.
First published in 2000, The Wandering Earth is an anthology of short stories, some of which have won China’s Galaxy Award. A couple of common themes stood out for me – alien first encounters and humankind’s need to leave the solar system. A lot of humour too.
Joy and loss for Tom Badgerlock – he finally finds the Fool after years apart, but an attack on Withywoods destroys his sanctuary and sees the kidnap of his small daughter Bee …
… and the Witted Bastard returns from the dead, as Tom / Fitz is finally, formally recognised as Prince FtizChivalry Farseer, cousin of the king and instrumental in the survival and success of the Six Duchies.
Peter Grant tangles with Lady Ty, via her daughter, meets Welsh witches of the landed gentry and has repeat encounters with Mr Punch and Lesley May. His magic skills are getting better, and it’s good to have Gulheed on the team. Diversity in action.
Diviner mage Alex Verus is in deep trouble: on the run from a death sentence passed by the Light Council on both him and Anne, his only way out is to accept Dark mage Morden’s ‘offer’ to work as his aide, and Richard Drakh’s ‘suggestion’ that ex-apprentice Alex return to work for him.
Arachne’s guidance to search for a dreamstone leads Alex and Anne, Luna and Varim to a deep shadow world, and deeper into the murky politics of the UK’s magic-wielding mage society.