Quartz: the Sunless World
Rabia Gale’s Quartz: the Sunless World is a story of conflict in the dark, on a world where no sun shines and the quartz caves are vital to life. Rafe Grenfeld is a decorative social butterfly, a minor aristocrat known for his dancing. He’s also one of Oakhaven’s best spies, which is why he’s currently hiding from Blackstone’s secret police in a pile of potato peelings. Somewhere in Blackstone are hidden rumours of a legendary pillar of quartz, lost along with most of the world’s mages and relegated to the status of a myth. Unfortunately, Rafe isn’t the only one who’s heard these rumours, and killing is far from the worst thing his competition is willing to do to get there first.
Rabia Gale’s writing brings her story to epic life in the glare of gaslamps and the frenetic gaiety of a world clinging to survival by its fingernails. Quartz: the Sunless World introduces a rich and credible backdrop to the adventures of her characters, with a deadly political mire underlying the bright colours of high society. Rafe makes a gripping protagonist, his tendency to make wise-cracks irrepressible even when he’s on the verge of passing out, and the mysterious anti-hero, Isabella, with her links to a nearly extinct magic and her reluctance to reveal anything more than her name, is a refreshingly new take on the role. I would highly recommend this book – it’s a fast-paced and unique story.
Reviewed for Quality Book Works.