The Marsh People by M. Valentine Williams

9780995754744

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Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult category of the 2019
International Book Awards

In the battle between the authoritarian, all powerful State and its imprisoned slaves, whose lives are controlled by The Masters, there are a few winners.

People have been rounded up from the villages by dogs controlled by the Masters and forced to live and work in decaying, inhuman conditions. Provided with basic food and shelter, they have little else, but like automatons, rarely do they rebel.

Scummo meets Kelpin. Her mother is dead. Scummo is moved to pity by this child, knowing that if she‘s taken to the Orphanage, she‘ll be killed.  Risking all, he leaves the City taking her with him.  They escape not knowing how they‘ll survive in the alien landscape outside. The invisible Masters watch their progress with interest.

The pair travel through marshy, giant eel-infested lands, eventually meeting others living as outsiders, with Bethyl as their leader. Life is uncomfortable and unpredictable, but they learn about freedom, co-operation and compassion and must fight for their survival at times when rival groups try to take over. The Masters watch them.

A dystopian novel pitting outsiders against inhuman tyrants.

Who will win?

‘There was a lot of great imagination on show – Scummo and Kelpin’s world was horribly realised, and the psychology behind the apathy of the city dwellers to do anything to change their lot all too believable. I loved the vicious eel creatures that dwelled in the water, ready to pick off any unsuspecting swimmers, and all the time there were little details that suggest the author knows a lot more about the world than she felt the need to let on. Another thing I really like in a dystopian novel.’

Liberty Gilmore, book reviewer, writer and blogger

Read Chapter 1

Comment (1)

  • Mina Sammie ayad -

    This is a very good fantasy book! Not necessarily because of the storyline or the main characters, but because Valentine Williams has written this in quite an intriguing way. It started slowly, but after the first four chapters, I was hooked. I like her writing style.

    The characters are good, the plotting, the sets and the scenes are all good, and it exposes some really sad reflections of humanity’s foibles. There’s some very interesting parallels /good descriptions of humankind

    The horrible new world thrives on strained conflicts that bubble under the surface… Overall, there’s a constant feeling of cold, sterile, heartless evil, which lacks total emotion. It sends shivers down your spine. It’s quite scary!

    I don’t want to give too much away, so I will refrain from describing too much punch. The fictional framework can be transferred to some situations we do face in the real world.
    The characters, Scummo and Kelpin are well developed.

    This book is good! It starts slow, but starts gripping from chapter 4.
    Don’t give up on it.

    P.S: Well worth a read if you like dark fantasy

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