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Release date: December 26, 2007
Edited by Jussi Jan 29, 2011
Genre: fantasy


Locus Award nominee 2009.

In this breathtaking debut novel by Felix Gilman, one man embarks on a thrilling and treacherous quest for his people’s lost god in an elaborate Dickensian city that is either blessed… or haunted.

Arjun arrives in Ararat just as a magnificent winged creature swoops and sails over the city. For it is the day of the return of that long-awaited, unpredictable mystical creature: the great Bird. But does it come for good or ill? And in the service of what god? Whatever its purpose, for one inhabitant the Bird sparks a long-dormant idea: to map the mapless city and liberate its masses with the power of knowledge.

As the creature soars across the land, shifting topography, changing the course of the river, and redrawing the territories of the city’s avian life, crowds cheer and guns salute in a mix of science and worship. Then comes the time for the Bird’s power to be trapped within the hull of a floating warship called Thunderer, an astounding and unprecedented weapon. The ship is now a living temple to the Bird, a gift to be used, allegedly, in the interests of all of Ararat.

Hurtled into this convulsing world is Arjun, an innocent who will unwittingly unleash a dark power beyond his imagining and become entangled in a dangerous underground movement that will forever transform Ararat. As havoc overtakes the streets, Arjun dares to test the city’s moving boundaries. In this city of gods, he has come to search among them, not to hide.

A tour de force of the imagination, and a brilliant tale of rebellion, Thunderer heralds the arrival of a truly gifted fantasy writer who has created a tale as rich, wondrous, and captivating as the world in which it is set.

"That thunderous, earth-shattering sound vibrating through the pavement and up-ending your coffee is the harbinger of approaching giants: first-time novelist Felix Gilman's incredibly imaginative New Weirdish urban fantasy Thunderer... a brilliant new author." Jeff VanderMeer

"Thunderer is an entrancing work of prose a subtle mix of magic realism and epic fantasy, with the beauty of the former and the worldbuilding of the latter. Recommended for any who want to sit back for a spell and just dream." Brandon Sanderson

"Amazing a satisfying and incredible sprawling, urban, Dickensian fantasy that sucks you into its gritty streets and never lets go until you've turned its last corner." Tobias Buckell


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 Book Reviews (total reviews 1)
by Seregil of Rhiminee
Jul 23, 2008

Felix Gilman's Thunderer is an excellent debut fantasy book. I liked Thunderer very much, because it was different from the usual fantasy books.

In my opinion Felix Gilman writes surpringly well for a debut fantasy writer. The world he created was interesting and different from normal fantasy worlds. The story was also interesting. I won't say more about the story, but I can say that it's worth reading.

I can recommend this book to all fantasy readers, who want to read something different.
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