Review of The Autumnlands, Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw by Kurt Busiek

The Autumnlands is weird.  And I love it.  It’s old school, pulpy stuff: walking, talking animals, magic, floating cities and airships, walking chairs, gigantic winged insects as mounts, and a time-traveler from the past with scifi implants.  It’s all very well written and absolutely beautifully drawn.

Autumnlands vol 1 cover

The Autumnlands takes place in a land filled with sentient, humanoid animals (key characters include a terrier, a warthog, an owl, a coyote, and a bison), whose aristocracy wield magic and live in a confederation of floating cities.  But magic is declining, and a cabal of magic users in the Seventeen Cities are desperate to bring the magic back.  They resolve to reach back through time to grab the Champion who opened the gates of magic.  It shouldn’t be much of a spoiler to admit that the “champion” is a human.  And in fact, as strange as the world of The Autumnlands seems, that champion appears to be a soldier from our world, sometime in the future.  In fact, he has scifi impants, giving the whole thing a sword and planet feel.

Bringing him back crashes one of the Seventeen Cities to the ground and things start to get really messy.  Depleted magic means help isn’t on the way anytime soon.  Goodfoot the Coyote trader has designs on robbing the wrecked city blind.  Sandorst the Owl is more concerned with political machinations and increasing his own influence than with the good of the people.  The ground-dwelling bison are bitter and Seven-Scars is plotting revenge.  The good guys like Dusty the terrier and Gharta the warthog don’t stand a chance.  Or they wouldn’t, if Learoyd, their Champion, didn’t play by an entirely different set of rules.

It’s inventive and different, chock full of cool worldbuilding and explosive action.

5/5 Stars.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction).
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Review of The Autumnlands, Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw by Kurt Busiek

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