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Khesh City floats above the surface of the uninhabitable planet of Vellern.
Topside, it's extravagant, opulent, luxurious; the Undertow is dark, twisted and dangerous.
Khesh City is a place where nothing is forbidden - but it's also a democracy, of sorts, a democracy by assassination, policed by the Angels, the elite, state-sponsored killers who answer only to the Minister, their enigmatic master.
Taro lived with Malia, his Angel aunt, one of the privileged few, until a strange man bought his body for the night, then followed him home and murdered Malia in cold blood. Taro wants to find the killer who ruined his future, but he's struggling just to survive in the brutal world of the Undertow. Then an encounter with the Minister sets him on a new course, spying for the City; his target is a reclusive Angel called Nual. Elarn Reen is a famous musician, sent to Khesh City as the unwilling agent of mankind's oldest enemy, the Sidhe.
To save her own life, she must find and kill her ex-lover, a renegade Sidhe. Though they come from different worlds, Taro and Elarn's fates are linked, their lives apparently forfeit to other people's schemes. As their paths converge, it becomes clear that the lives of everyone in Khesh City, from the majestic, deadly Angels to the barely-human denizens of the Undertow, are at risk.
And Taro and Elarn, a common prostitute and an uncommon singer, are Khesh City's only chance ...
About the Author
Jaine Fenn studied Linguistics and Astronomy at university before embarking on a career as an IT consultant. She is the author of the Hidden Empire books, the first two of which are Principles of Angels and Consorts of Heaven; the third novel in this loosely linked series is Guardians of Paradise. She lives with her husband in Hampshire.
In her first novel, Jaine Fenn has created a vivid and unusual world, populated by an interesting array of characters. A promising start. - THE TIMES - Lisa TuttleFenn manages to put her own stamp on some familiar genre elements, enough to make this a genuinely promising debut - LOCUS - Faren Miller'The plot speeds along, the dialogue is sharp... British debut author Fenn's future dystopia may contain some overly familiar elements but it's mighty promising nonetheless.' - BBC FOCUS - Dave Golder'What initially plays as a slow-burning blend of murder mystery and hard sci-fi (with an added dash of China Mieville's gritty sense of urban energy) is soon expanding in scale and taking on some highly intriguing concepts. Fenn's debut novel is an impressive piece of work and adds another name to the list of SF and fantasy authors worth watching.' - SFX - Saxon Bullock'Fenn shows considerable promise with this debut. Well paced, with a satisfying number of twists and turns to hold your interest and characters are well drawn, ensuring you care enough about them to keep reading. This is an accomplished first novel from an author who bears watching.' - DEATHRAY - Steve Robinson'The novel reads as a thriller, short and punchy with clear prose and authentic characterisation. This is an enjoyable debut.' - BRUM SF GROUP NEWSLETTERThe politics and social mores of Chesh
Number Of Pages: 282
Published: 1st August 2008
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.3 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1