Friday, October 2, 2009

"Swords of Haven" by Simon R. Green

"They're lovers. They're partners. They're cops. They're the battle-scarred crime busters of a never-ending urban war. Hawk rules the streets by battle-axe. Fisher cracks down on outlaws with sword and dagger. Their merciless beat is the sinister city misnamed Haven: a dark and violent town overrun with spell casters, demons, and thieves - a place where money will buy anything...except justice."

I've been reading Green for a while now, mostly his Nightside series starring John Taylor. One of the people responsible for our Collection & Development contacted me and asked if I knew anything about this series, and I said no, but go ahead and get put it in the system if you can since his other works go out well. "Swords of Haven" is a compilation of the first three Hawk and Fisher novels: "Hawk and Fisher", "Winner Take All", and "The God Killer".

As is typical of Green, the pieces aren't terribly long, all under 200 pages. The writing is straight-forward and pretty much what you'd expect from him - a world that sort of resembles ours (although I think this is supposed to be some time ago, maybe the Middle Ages?) populated by sorcerers and other beastly things. Hawk and Fisher are described as no-nonsense crime fighters and their reputations proceed them; no one is willing to go up against them, least of all the Guards themselves. They are the only two Guards on the force who can't be bought, which makes them the only honest Guards as well.

I won't waste time describing each novel here; if you've read Green, you'll like them. If you haven't read Green, this would be a good way to give him a try. What I will tell you is that I believe Haven is a predecessor of London. Why? Well, there are things mentioned in this book that are also in his Nightside series. For example, Hawk and Fisher are typically assigned to the Northside of Haven, which is the most corrupt part of the city. Northside? Nightside? You see where I'm going with this... and when I read about Hawk and Fisher having to report to the Street of Gods, I was pretty sure of the connection. Yes, that Street of Gods, the very same from the Nightside. I'm not entirely sure if Haven is supposed to be London in the Middle Ages but I think so. If not, it's definitely an alternate universe of London/the Nightside. It's nice to see Green connect his series in this manner; he's done the same with Secret Histories series, too.

Green is an excellent author, no matter who or where he's writing about. Definitely check this out, and soon.

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