- Non Fiction
Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
List Price: £8.99
Paperback: 464 Pages.
Published: 11 January 2018 by Jo Fletcher Books
Edition: Illustrated edition
The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.
For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.
But secrets have a way of leaking out.
Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.
Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.
by Debra Found
A Marmite Book
Well - Rotherweird by name & Rather Weird by nature. This is definitely an unusual book.
Rotherweird is a small town in England which is isolated from the rest of the country. The residents are not allowed to research their past and don't employ modern technology such as petrol vehicles, computers or even telephones. It is attached to a fantasy land via a series of magic tiles. I won't attempt to further precis the plot as it is actually rather convoluted & I'd loose you in seconds. Suffice to say there are a great number of unusual characters & a lot of strange goings on.
Although I did enjoy this book I wouldn't call it a light read or even an easy read. You do need to keep your wits about you all all times. There are flashbacks to the Elizabethan period which often make no sense at the time but will mostly become clear as you progress. I regret not taking the time to write a full cast list for myself which would have made things easier particularly when people had more than one name or when names were similar.
I struggled a bit with the ending of this book. It was all going well and we had arrived at a clear climax, had a brief summary and I expected the book to end. It didn't and just got rather tedious. The last few chapters were unnecessary in my opinion and could have been better adapted to the beginning of the next installment.
I have called this a marmite book because it is so obviously going to be a book you either love or hate. I enjoyed it and if weren't for the extra chapters on the end I would have loved the book. I can see, however, that many people are just not going to want to stick with this and will find it like wading through treacle.
I loved Rotherweird and its residents as well as the whole concept of the attached extra place, Lost Acre. I was quite happy to read through the intricacies and deal with the convoluted twists. There is some wonderful writing and some great characters - a fantastic coracle race and details of the Polk Brothers inventions spring instantly to mind. There is something very Heath Robinson about them!
I can see that this book is designed to lead to another. There are definitely things to be resolved. I shall be looking out for the next installment of Rotherweird!