THE LIGHT AGES by Ian R. MacLeod - SIGNED FIRST EDITION TRADE PAPER BOOKSee all titles by Ian R. MacLeod.
In The Light Ages, British author Ian R. MacLeod creates an alternate history of England in which the Industrial Revolution is radically changed with the discovery of aether, a magical substance that allows people to manipulate reality. But just as aether has its benefits (it can light entire cities, make metal stronger, power telegraph lines, change plants and animals into magical creations), it also has a horrific dark side. Prolonged exposure to aether turns humans into monstrosities that eventually have to be institutionalized.
Growing up in the industrial town of Bracebridge, famous for its booming aether engines, young Robert Borrows knows firsthand the results of working closely with the magical substance. Both his parents worked in the aether factories, and his mother turned into a nightmarish ghoul after a work-related accident. The aether factory and its guild members are shrouded in ritual and secrecy, and when Robert becomes old enough he leaves the industrial town for London in search of answers.
Annalise is a changeling, born to a woman who was pregnant when exposed to massive amounts of aether. But instead of showing signs of becoming a monstrosity, Annalise is outwardly normal. In fact, she's beautiful. The young changeling is looking for answers, too, and when she meets Robert, their fates intertwine -- and in their search for the truth, they uncover answers that could both destroy and free a society…
Part magic realism, part alternate history, The Light Ages is a complex, enthralling, and ultimately melancholy novel that will haunt readers long after they have put it down.