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New Treasures: The Recoletta Novels by Carrie Patel

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Buried Life-small Cities and Thrones-small

I’m a sucker for a great fantasy setting. Plot, character, sparkling prose… these all appeal to me as much as the next guy. But give me a fresh, innovative setting, and you’ve got my attention from page one.

One of the most intriguing and innovative settings I’ve come across recently is the fantastical, gaslit underground city of Recoletta, where mankind huddles after a mysterious apocalypse, and whose true origins are shrouded in mystery. It is the setting for two novels (so far) from debut author Carrie Patel: The Buried Life and Cities and Thrones, both published this year by Angry Robot. Here’s a brief bit of enticing description from the starred review at Publishers Weekly:

With Regency-era sensibilities and Agatha Christie’s flair for the subtle conundrum, Patel’s debut novel introduces readers to a subterranean city of the future, centuries after what is dubbed ‘The Catastrophe’, and beautifully manages the delicate balance between entertainment and social commentary. The subtly fantastical story is resplendent with surprisingly deep villains, political corruption, and a gripping whodunit feel.

This is one of the most original new fantasy series on the market, “a dark, imaginative steampunk gem” (Cherie Priest) and “a cracking whodunnit with sufficient twists and turns to make Agatha Christie proud” (The Guardian). Check it out.

The Buried Life was published on March 6, 2015. It is 359 pages, priced at $7.99 in paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by John Coulthart.

Cities and Thrones was published on July 7, 2015. It is 448 pages, priced at $7.99 in paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by John Coulthart.

See all our recent New Treasures here.


  1. Intriguing! Sounds positively Gormenghastish, if I may be permitted to create an adjective…

    Comment by Thomas Parker - July 30, 2015 6:24 pm

  2. I was thinking Menzoberranzian, but that works too.

    Comment by John ONeill - July 30, 2015 9:18 pm

  3. Erelhei-Cinluvian.

    Comment by Joe H. - July 30, 2015 9:42 pm

  4. Thomas, I was thinking it might be Gormenghastly.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - July 30, 2015 10:18 pm

  5. Sarah, you’re probably right. Now that I think about it, Gormenghastish is a Hungarian stew, heavy on the paprika.

    Comment by Thomas Parker - July 30, 2015 10:33 pm

  6. > Erelhei-Cinluvian.


    Now you’re taking me WAY back.

    Though if I could only visit one legendary underground city, it would definitely be Gary Gygax’s Erelhei-Cinlu!

    Comment by John ONeill - July 31, 2015 12:25 am

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