Parents' Guide to

The Tangled Lands

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Related novellas have ecological themes, lots of violence.

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Collaborations between even the most accomplished participants are tricky, and this promising collection of related novellas demonstrates some of the difficulties. The Tangled Lands has a fascinating premise -- that the use of magic causes ecological disaster. Although they collaborated on the world-building, Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell worked separately on each of their two novellas, and that strategy results in some narrative disjointedness. There's not much connection between the individual stories, so it takes a while for each of them to become fully engrossing, and the book ends without much resolution. There's much to like about The Tangled Lands -- its passion, its cleverness -- so older, more patient readers may find it absorbing and rewarding.

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