The Light Age Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Light Age

Ace, May 203, 23.95, 416 pp.
ISBN 0441010555

In the England where Robert Borrows lives, there is no parliament or monarchy only the guilds who are the aristocracy. English civilization is based on the element aether, which is mined deep below ground in such places as Bracebridge in West Yorkshire. Without the use of aether, structures, buildings and bridges would crumble and life would be infinitely harder. Too much exposure to aether alters humans into changelings who are taken away to certain institutions where they can be cared for even if they are able to live a normal life.
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Instead of joining his father's Toolmaker's Guild as he is supposed to, Robert travels to London where he learns the difference between the haves and the have-nots. He joins an organization whose goal is to overthrow the existing order, a Herculean feat since the guildmakers are so entrenched. While in London, he meets Anna, a changeling passing herself off as human, who is linked to Robert and Bracebridge in a very special way. When they discover the secrets that Bracebridge is hiding, they will usher in a new age, one that will change the world as they know it.

THE LIGHT AGE is a gothic fantasy that takes place in an England reminiscent of this world's early age. The underpinning of magic to hold society and civilization together means maintaining the status quo, something the protagonist is totally against because no progress is made towards discovering new knowledge. Nothing in his England has changed for three centuries since the discovery of aether. Ian R. MacLeod has written a fascinating work that brings something unique and refreshing to the genre.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Light Age

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   alternate history Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom Repressive society story    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group Who's a slave/repressed?    -   discrim against people with mental powers

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   19th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Ian R. MacLeod Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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