Review: The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis

coldestwarSeries: Milkweed Triptych #2
Published by: Tor Books
ISBN: 0356501701
ISBN 13: 9780356501703
Published: February 2013
Pages: 432
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Favourites
Related Reviews: Bitter Seeds (Milkweed Triptych #1)

‘The Coldest War’ by Ian Tregillis is the second in the Milkweed Triptych series, and is just as thrilling as the first. Set years after the first, we see where the characters (and Europe) are now, and overall feel very thankful we’re far, far away from both the characters and that time.

It has now been twenty-two years since the Second World War. The warlocks working for Britain have been in use since, and their powers and methods have been growing

Marsh has been trying to leave Milkweed in his past, but it’s not that easy. Everything else seems to be failing around him, no matter how hard he tries. Then the choice is taken away from him thanks to our favourite set of twins, and he finds himself in Milkweed’s clutches once again, where he discovers that Britain, though honourable, have been pushed past limits he thought they would never cross… and he’s not too sure what he thinks about that.

The characters within his book are even more vivid than in the first. We know them now, and so it skips the introductions to throw us headfirst into their trials and tribulations, and somehow makes us question what we thought of them in the first book. The character growth of the characters is astounding, somehow remaining believable thanks to the horrors they’ve all witnessed and experienced.

Tregillis’ writing is to be read to be believed. A mix of action, spy novel, character study, and a lot of what we see in dystopian novel today (though this book is so far in our past), it is a lot to take in, yet it happens seamlessly. This is one hard book to put down, and the wait for the third is incredibly hard. A lot of readers compare this to X-Men and Tinker, Tailer, Solider, Spy, yet it’s hard to confine it to something that already exists.

Though I received this book to review in 2013, I actually ordered an eCopy to tide myself over last year, and it was easily one of my favourite books of 2012. I have the third marked as an alert in my phone for when it comes out, and I can’t recommend this series enough. This may be a bleak series, but damn it gets you trapped in its claws and refuses to let you go. Highly, highly recommended.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 27th February 2013.

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