Little by little, as the narrative twists and turns, Levene reveals the depth and complexity of her created world and leaves the reader eager for the next instalment.
Smiler's Fair is the epic fantasy I've been waiting for - riveting, compelling and adventurous.
This book is a perfect blend of epic and 'gritty' fantasy, combining the best aspects of the two genres.
The first volume of The Hollow Gods is consistently surprising, packing in plenty of character development, fast and brutal action.
We can judge other-world fantasy by the extent we want to return to it - and I can't wait to book my ticket back to the next episode of this outstanding, multi-stranded debut.
I owe Rebecca Levene my career. She's always been a creative powerhouse, and I'm excited by what she's going to do as a writer of epic fantasy. She should be on everyone's radar as one of the great new writers of the genre.
All I know is that Rebecca Levene has written the most stunning first volume epic fantasy since Game of Thrones. It's a little bit grimdark, a little bit epic, and a whole lot of incredible. If George R.R. Martin wrote The Night Circus, Smiler's Fair would be the result. Go. Buy. It.
Fans of either Abraham or Abercrombie-fans of fantasy full stop, in fact-will find lots to like in Smiler's Fair. Its setting, its narrative, its characters-unlikeable as they are-all impress immensely, developed as they are with depth and discerning detail. In truth, the only complaint I'd make about the book is that there isn't more of it.