Daily Mail: One of the most compelling things about the fantasy genre is the sense it gives of other realities existing a mere hair’s breadth from our own – its practitioners constructing not only plots but entire worlds in which for them to unfold.
Foreign Devils is an especially adept example of this. It is also what one can only describe as an historical thriller set in the future, the premise being that the Ruman (yes, Ruman) Empire has neither declined nor fallen but harnessed a literally demonic form of weaponry known as Hellfire.
We accompany Livia and Secundus Cornelius, scions of one of Rume’s oldest and most powerful families, on a diplomatic mission to Kithai (a brilliantly wrought cultural landscape that perhaps bears the same relation to China as Rume does to Ancient Rome).
But who are the remote Autumn Lords who hold sway over Kithai? And are they as benevolent as they’re made out to be? You’ll have to read this brutal, beautiful tale to find out.