Review: The Vorrh / Author: B. Catling / Publisher: Honest Publishing / Release Date: Out Now
“One of the best fantasy novels I've ever read,” says the mighty Alan Moore of this novel. High praise indeed. Well, The Vorrh is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect Alan Moore to enjoy. It's not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure.
Even as a physical object, it's imposing – a chunky, ominous-looking lump of a book, with a scary name and a vaguely naughty picture on the front that resembles something you might find growing in David Cronenberg's garden. Then there's the quote from Alan Moore. Crikey. Alan Moore likes it. Am I going to be able to understand a word of it? Terrifying; and that's before you've even opened the thing.
The Vorrh is the Ulysses of fantasy novels. Set in a world that seems magical and very real at the same time, The Hobbit this is not. The Vorrh of the title is a fictional forest, a vibrant backdrop for a story which struts across genres with confidence and style, the writing beautiful and poetic. Veteran hunter Tsungali treks into the heart of the Vorrh, determined to stop an outsider from breaching this magical, sacred place. Meanwhile, elsewhere, a Cyclops is discovered in a basement. The characters of the Vorrh are as rich and unusual as their environment, building a dense tapestry that should appeal to those who like their fantasy deep, immersive and somewhat challenging. A wonderful book, even if it is a little scary.