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The Fever King: 05/25/19
The Fever King by Victoria Lee is the first part of the Feverwake duology. Like Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas (2017), this one is set on an alternate timeline where an event released magic into the world. Whereas in Thomas's version magic disrupted technology as we know it, in Lee's version, it was a virus that threatened to wipe out the world and was contained via nuclear strikes.
The United States is no more, though pieces of it exist now as separate countries. The novel is set in Carolinia, a place that has a strict immigration policy in an attempt to contain the virus but one that is devastating.
In this near alternate future, Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, having survived the fever brought on by the magic virus. His father, though, is dead and he is on his own.
The minister of defense offers to train Noam at his special school. Most students start younger, so he's already behind before he starts.
Like We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, the bulk of the book is tied up with political intrigue, classism, and revolt. Also like Mejia, there's a romance for Noam with a brooding soul named Dal. While he's apparently hot, the relationship here, if one can call it that, is unhealthy.
This novel sits on the road narrative spectrum at FF0033. Noam is a literal orphan (FF) who awakes with new found powers. His journey is contained to in and around the city (00) for the majority of this narrative. His method of travel is on streets and highways (33), though the interstate as we know it as ceased to exist.
The conclusion, The Electric Heir, comes out on March 17, 2020.
Comment #1: Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 10:31:46
Sounds like a great fantasy. Anything mentioning the minister of defense, reminds of Harry Potter-must be a British thing?
Comment #2: Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:42:00
The author is American and it's set in the remains of a few southern American states. Carolinia, though, is a monarchy. It's history is a big part of the book so I won't spoil that here. I think the monarch aspect is the reason for the title minister of defense.