REVIEW: FIEFDOM – A KINGDOM NOVEL / AUTHOR: DAN ABNETT, NIK VINCENT / PUBLISHER: ABADDON BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 14TH
In the distant future, mankind is the stuff of legend, civilisation long destroyed by insect-like monsters known as Them. After many bloody struggles, the world belongs to the Aux – man-like dogs left behind in the dying days of humanity’s dominance. This is the post-apocalyptic world of Fiefdom.
Fiefdom shares the same world as Dan Abnett’s excellent comic book series Kingdom, which originally featured in 2000AD. The novel moves the action one hundred years and half a hemisphere away to the ruins of Berlin. The exploits of Gene The Hackman and his friend, Oldman Gary have long since passed into legend and the Aux roam the ruins of human cities asserting dominance. Knowledge of the graphic novel isn’t needed here, any relevant information is quickly summarised fairly early on. The story instead focuses on a brave and courageous female Aux called Evelyn War.
Evelyn believes that Them are coming back. Evelyn also believes that the Aux should unite to face this threat together, and this makes her an outsider. In order to save the day, Evelyn has to stand up for what she believes.
This is not a book for those with an allergy to puns. The Aux tend to have names that riff on the literary world; Oscar So Wild, Evelyn War, Atticus Flinch and so on - the puns never stop. Abnett has also given the Aux a unique pidgin language, one that is easy for the reader to understand and at the same time reminds you that the Aux are not human. Their short, brutal language defines them very well but doesn’t alienate the reader.
Abnett is a master of fast-paced cinematic action. His world building is as strong as always and this particular setting benefits from a shift to the medium of the novel. We get a more in-depth understanding of what has happened to the world and these little bits of information never fail to entertain. Fiefdom is a solid read and fans will lap this up and that is, as the Aux put it “truer than true. “