Inspired by the late Gene Wolfe, Adrain Tchaikovsky has crafted a novel that will be sure to take your breath away. I have never read a story quite like this one and it just kept my mind racing even after I put the book down. Based on creativity and world building alone this will be a top read for any reader. Throw in the plot and character interactions you get an instant classic that transends the fantasy and sci-fi genres!
At less than two hundred pages, I was able to devour Elder Race in no time at all. The genius part about this novel is we have two POV’s to read and each one represents the genre’s of sci-fi and fantasy. Lynesse is the fourth daughter of the queen and is always looked down upon as the runt of the family. When a demon is terrorizing the land and infecting the people at large, Lynesse takes it upon herself to ask the elder sorcerer for aid. Tales have been told for centuries of the sorcerer who has defeated evil long ago and Lynesse will call upon Elder Nyr to do it again. This represents the fantasy side of the story.
Nyr is anything but a sorcerer although the surrounding kingdoms believe that he is. Nyr is a scientific anthropologist sent to this planet to study the enviroment with his team centuries ago. Nyr is now the last surviving member of his original team living in a tower with his research and tools while staying away from the local population. When Lynesse shows up to ask for aid and for Nyr to use his magic, Nyr is left speechless as he knows there isn’t any magic. There also is no demon haunting the lands but Nyr will soon discover that his worst nightmare may come to pass. This is the sci-fi portion of the story.
To say that I was completly blown away by this story would not be doing the novel justice. I had no idea that you could write a genre blender novel in this fashion and I was left without words upon reading the last page. If you are a fantasy reader looking to get into sci-fi, read this book! If you are a sci-fi reader looking to get into fantasy, read this book! Hell, just read this book as I promise you haven’t read anything like this. Adrian is already among my favorite authors upon finishing his epic fantasy series Shadows of the Apt. Elder Race however takes his status to a whole other level. It takes a great writer to get me head over heals invested in sci-fi novels and Adrian has done just that!
If you have never heard of Adrian Tchaikovsky before reading this article (highly unlikely), than this is a great starting point. This story shows two distinct and brilliant ways to write a story and the fun ways to be creative with the world. Anyone thinking of becoming a writer will learn so much from Elder Race and the gifts just keep on coming. Can’t wait for my next Adrian book!