At long last, me and Michal Wojcik have returned to discuss the final installment of Peter Higgins’ Wolfhound Empire books, 2015’s Radiant State. Once again, the book opens with a radical break from the previous volume, with both a six-year timeskip and a Vlast that has been transformed from the crumbly half-magical tsarist-Soviet hybrid we know from the first two books into a radical science-fictional vision of Stalinist hyper-modernism. Please enjoy the first half of our review, in which we plumb the depths of Papa Rizhin’s New Vlast. (Fair warning: this may actually be the biggest installment of our review series to date. Suffice to say, I have a lot of opinions about Stalinism.)
There is only the future
At long last, we’re down to the last volume in Peter Higgins’ Wolfhound Empire trilogy, 2015’s Radiant State, and Alasdair Czyrnyj’s back for another round of discussion.
Six years have passed since Truth and Fear and the Vlast is a very different place; the nuclear shenanigans have spirited away the multi-future seed of the Pollandore and changed its fundamental nature, but have also sealed the stone archangel within the borders of the endless forest along with its new aspect in Maroussia Shaumian. Forest and Vlast are now fundamentally alienated both in space and in time; the slow struggle between angel and forest continues to play out but the rest of world is left to the designs of Papa Rizhin, the Vlast’s newly-minted dictator. And his desires are to force the Vlast into a rapid, impossible technological leap that will make humankind oust the stone…
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