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    A gem of a novel

    Swanwick's work is revelatory, hallucinatory, witty, and affectionate for a humanity still stumbling in the dark. This book takes on his themes of transformation and transcendence in a direct way, focusing on a seemingly-extinct race of beings, the possibility of magic in a sci-fi world, and the dull, driven main character, the bureaucrat. But the bureaucrat, more than most protagonists, can't stay as he is at the beginning. Following his multiple initiations, struggles, and transformations is a page-turner of a joyride.

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