Madness of Flowers

Jay Lake is a prolific fellow. I haven’t read Green yet, but so far my favorite amongst his stories are those set in the City Imperishable. Madness of Flowers is book #2 in the series, a sequel to Trial of Flowers reviewed here.

There’s not a lot to be said about the plot. The City is once more in danger from nefarious foes (including pirates and a giant ice bear), and it is once more up to the likes of Imago, Jason and Bijaz to save it, despite the constant opposition of the venal and incompetent Burgesses. To a large extent the book is “more of the same”, but then again that’s pretty much what I wanted.

I noted in my review of Trial that one of the things Jay does is include nods of acknowledgment to other city-based fiction. I’ll therefore leave you with this short quote:

His steps were small as the seconds that count out a mans dying. He walked through the narrow, damp tunnels of a jade mine, across a swaying metal bridge in a city of high canyons, down a lane paved with ice between walls of falling water, through a granite-floored hall lined with paintings of women with the heads of birds, across a gull-haunted, sun-warmed dockside empty of people where fish rotted in their nets. Tall square towers burned, gray-capped men like mushrooms slunk along fungus-lined walls, metal carts slithered overhead on high wires, a withered white tree bloomed in an empty courtyard. With every footfall his body stretched and tightened, shortened and lengthened, became heavy as time and light as a soul’s breath.

Onesiphorus walked through the idea of City, knowing that if he missed his step, he’d never go home.

I confess that I can’t identify all of those references myself. Hopefully between us all we can manage it. Have at it.

5 thoughts on “Madness of Flowers

  1. a withered white tree bloomed in an empty courtyard

    That’s Gondor, Tolkien.

    gray-capped men like mushrooms slunk along fungus-lined walls
    Ambergris, Jeff VanderMeer.

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