Tansy Rayner Roberts

Creature Court, Book 1

HarperVoyager (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-7322-8943-0

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, August 2010

I don’t know that I have the words to express how much I adore this book. I have been looking forward to it for what seems like forever, since Roberts first announced the book deal. The waiting worsened when the gorgeous cover art was released, and we were teased by release dates that didn’t match up with shelf dates. Even after I finally got my hands on it, I had reading commitments that meant it sat on my “To Be Read” shelf, giving me sultry gazes, for weeks before I could actually get to it. But boy oh boy, was it worth the wait.

(Disclaimer: I count Tansy as a friend and have published her short work many times.)

Velody arrives in Aufleur at 14 with the ambition to become a dressmaker – she is overwhelmed by the city and homesick at the thought of having to live there for the seven years of her apprenticeship. And then a naked man falls out of the sky, and her whole world – the known, and the unknown – is torn apart.

The years go by and while Velody’s dreams take her to a strange world, her real life goes from strength to strength, as she and her friends Rhian and Delphine make their way to the top of their professions. But then, just as Velody’s success reaches a pinnacle, an unseen King dies, and everything changes.

Power and Majesty is everything I could ask for in a dark fantasy. It’s rich in character, story and intrigue, lustrous in language, and epic in scope. There is so much depth to Aufleur and the world Roberts has created, so much intensity to the characters (who I quickly became devoted to), that I know the trilogy is going to grow gloriously. Roberts has given herself an extraordinary base to spring from – the story that has already evolved is detailed and believable, but there is so much more I want to know; I’m already deeply invested myself in this series, and I want more.

This book just hit the top of my list for recommendation to people looking for a new fantasy. If you love Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey, you will worship Power and Majesty and the Creature Court. If you’ve never read a fantasy before, I can’t think of a better place to start – you will be hooked for life.