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Wolfhound Century (Wolfhound Century #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  434 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Investigator Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist --- and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and re ...more
ebook, 380 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,991)
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Milo (Bane of Kings)
Read the Review Here:

“Very dark, very gritty and very atmospheric. Wolfhound Century is also a book free of genre constraints, allowing for a great original and entertaining read. Top Notch stuff by Peter Higgins.” ~The Founding Fields

Every so often you come across a book that is impossible to fit into a single genre, and Wolfhound Century hits that spot perfectly. It seems like a weird combination of alternate history, fantasy and the good old noir crim
Blodeuedd Finland
How to describe this one? How to do it justice? In Soviet Russia reviews writes you! Anyway...

Yes, this book takes place in a world that is ours, or maybe it is not our world. We have a "Russia" turned "Soviet", ruled by a ruthless dictator, revolutionaries running around in the streets bombing stuff, a war with a place called The Archipelago, and that is all we learn of that. But that is only the beginning. There is a vast vast forest, there are creatures from Slavic mythology, there are Gods t
WOLFHOUND CENTURY is a promising debut novel, both well conceived and original. It's a fantasy world based on the Soviet Union under Stalin (although I noted a couple of references to Hitler as well), run on cruel magics of brute power and domination, faced off against the remnants of an older magical force apparently based on Slavic folk tales. It's an interesting and original world that I would have liked to see explored in more depth. Higgins is also a smart enough writer to make both his her ...more
Matt Brady
Inspector Vissarion Lom is a cop, an incorruptible man frustrated with the oppressive bureaucracy and hypocrisy of the institution he serves, trapped in an unimportant provincial precinct and denied the promotions he thinks he deserves. Josef Kantor is a political revolutionary and a terrorist, utterly committed to his Cause, recently released from a twenty year stint in a forced labour camp and now causing endless trouble in the capital of Mirgorod. Lom is set on Kantor’s trail, hand-picked for ...more
This is the China Miévilliest book that was ever China Miévilled by someone other than China Miéville.
Althea Ann
I picked this up because it was described a being very similar in style to China Mieville.
It was - but I don't think it felt derivative at all.
It was sort of like if Mieville met Martin Cruz Smith met Philip Kerr. It may sound strange, but I don't think it's a bad thing at all.

Set in an alternate Soviet state, Vissarion Lom is a 'good' cop, who sees it as an unexpected opportunity when he's called to the capital to undertake a secret investigation. But of course - he gets into far more than he e
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Vissarion Lom of the Podchornok provincial police, has tried many times to get transferred to the capital city of the great Vlast, Mirgorod. He eventually gets his wish, but when he arrives, he finds out that he’s been summoned to catch a revolutionary by the name of Josef Kantor. Kantor, an “impresario of destruction”, is responsible for countless lives lost and horrendous atrocities in the name of freedom, and he’s also
Sharon Thomson
This book has everything: giants, angels, mystery, crime; all based in a timeless world that appears to be run like Russia was in the last century. Morals abound. Strange creatures appear. Good tries to overcome evil.

Peter Higgins draws you in to the world where strange creatures are accepted as everyday occurrences. There are several subplots all neatly tied together. Inspector Vissarion Lom is hunting for a terrorist, but he uncovers something more sinister. The World he knows is about to chan
Vissarion Lom is a cop, and an incorruptible one at that. He's sick of the oppression and hypocrisy that surrounds him, and is summoned to the capital to catch a terrorist, subsequently ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police.

Alternative history doused in fantasy, this book was more than expected. Similar to war-time Russia, Higgins' world feels real enough, with characters interesting enough, although sometimes overshadowed by plot. Comparatively, however, they remain more f
Sylvia Becker
Wolfhound Century is one of those books with vivid imagery and an immersive world that trap you when you start reading them and you can only stop once you have finished. Peter Higgins has laid out the foundations for an astounding trilogy. You could read this novel only for the experienced pacing and precise descriptions, but you have the plot and characters that add even more to the book. Considering that this is Higgins’ debut novel, I can only dream of what he shall accomplish within the next ...more
Mikko Saari
Gorgeous world-building, all sorts of good stuff with the sci-fi soviet noir setting, but — and this is a huge but — there's simply no ending to the book. None. The book ends like a chapter ends. No closure whatsoever. Obviously sequel is in works, and hopefully arrives soon, because this book doesn't stand alone. I recommend waiting until a sequel is out before reading this one... I was very disappointed in the ending, but the storyso far is promising.
I have not read Gorky Park, yet. But I have seen the movie and this book reminds me of that with the added bonus of fantasy and without the unbelievable romantic sub-plot.
First Reads Review - Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

So I'm a big fan of History Fantasy, which is rather what I would consider this book I won through the First Reads program. It's not really Russian, because it takes place in a world where Russia doesn't exist, but it is based on Russia, with a rather Russian feel to it. The main character, Vissarion, is basically the last good cop in a sea of corruption and is called into the capital in order to sniff out a nefarious plot and right that whi
Now that I have had a good taste of the speculative fiction that is to be released in 2014, I can now declare that 2014 is the year of the spectacularly original debut novel, Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins being no exception. This novel is extremely hard to delegate to one genre, as it effortlessly dances the line between alternate history, fantasy, and noir crime fiction. It is set in an alternate history to 1940’s Stalinist Russia, and brings more than just the physical setting to play in ...more
Karl Ruben
There’s a vast, impenetrable, unknowable forest right there, brushing up against a familiar city of men. It’s right there, and it shouldn’t be.

This isn’t the first of the fantastical elements we’re introduced to in Wolfhound Century, but this is the image that stayed with me, that really sucked me into the Vlast, Peter Higgins’ alternate Soviet Russia. Even with angels (or “angels”, rather) and giants popping up in its first pages, the Vlast's towns and cities feel very familiar, with their mugg
John Cowell
First thing you need to know about Wolfhound Century is: you do not talk about ...

No no, Wolfhound Century is a brilliant read. The prose especially is a delight--verastile and often poetic, full of imagery but also rich with full sensory experience--(you can tell Higgins is a lover of the language), but there were a few missteps along the way, where the beauty of the prose got in the way of the events being described; thank god such occurences were few and far between, because Wolfhound Century
This, I think, is good: a swift, creative and intense political fantasy, reminiscent of Steph Swainston’s Castle novels as a secondary-world tale that begins and ends pretty much in media res, and in its capacious and modern attitude to fantastical worldbuilding, building an original setting the conveys a sense of many potential stories to be told. The central concern of the narrative is not just the fate of the world, but the fate of the past -- there exists a snapshot of the world before, wait ...more
Wayne McCoy
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins reminded me of the work of China Mieville. I say that because I felt like I got thrown into a strange descriptive world without the clues to decipher what was going on. And yet, I couldn't stop reading. When it was all done, I enjoyed it, but it felt like the beginning of a series, and I still have questions.

It all takes place in a Soviet-like place that has been in a constant war with strange beings called angels. There is also a terrorist bombing as the book
I’ve read several novels over the last few years that were compared to China Miéville by reviewers, publishers, or both. In most cases, I thought the comparison was a stretch, to say the least. In some cases, it was simply ludicrous. Setting your fantasy novel in a grimy city where it rains a lot is not enough. Not every weird/slipstream dystopia qualifies. There is more to it than that.

When Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins arrived on my doorstep, featuring a prominent quote by Richard K. Morg
A decent first book in a fantasy/steampunk universe loosely related to early 20th century Russia.
The book is relatively short but interesting. Nothing gets resolved at the end and I understand the second book will take off right where the first one finished.
I didn't know this was historical, never been a fan.
Testament to how good this book turned out to be: I didn't once feel outraged by the blurbled 'vintage Mieville' comparison. (It's still no Mieville, even on an off-day) but Wolfhound Century is v fun to set alongside The City & The City. Peter Higgins has some seriously nifty ideas; I only wish 'tweet-length chapters = MOAR EXCITE' hadn't been one of them. The abrupt ending threw my reading rhythm off even more violently, but that was partly my own fault for failing to realise this was the ...more
JJ DeBenedictis
I would have ranked this book higher if not for it dinging one of my biggest peeves: The story isn't finished when the book ends.

In other words, this book is part of a series, and it doesn't tell a stand-alone story. That said, there's a lot to recommend this novel. For a start, the story is set in a fantasy version of communist Russia, complete with giants and rusalkas and paranoia, and OMG, how cool is that?! :)

Although the book has many gripping scenes, some of which depict quite startling vi
So I read Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins. A genre book that I highly recommend to fantasy lovers who are bored with the celtic/british fantasy bent (fairies, elves, etc), with a large caveat.

Wolfhound Century is a Russian/Slavic influenced fantasy world that takes place in a late Imperial Russian/Soviet (minus the communist) Analogue, with a bit of a science fiction-y setting to it. An oppressive government lead by an all powerful bureaucracy and united behind a single faith and their leader
If you're looking for a new flavour of fantasy fiction, Wolfhound Century offers a rather unique set-up. The book doesn't just take place in an other-Russia, but is written almost in the style of Russian writers, with the same ponderous oppression of glowering grey skies above a vast snowbound landscape. Here, Vissarion Lom goes from provincial plod to big city pawn, drawn by his superiors into a fight in the capital city he has little hope of understanding against adversaries that are giants to ...more
Timothy Pecoraro
Wolfhound Century is a very frustrating book. It starts VERY slowly as a Soviet Style crime novel where a budding revolutionary means to take down the regime and our hero is trying to prevent him from doing so. But that isn’t what Wolfhound Century is about at all. The book is instead about a world much like our own but VERY DIFFERENT where there are things in the shadows. REAL THINGS! There is some magic and there are even monsters. Some human and some not so human. This strange midstream shif ...more
originally posted at:

Last year I read some very positive news about Wolfhound Century but hadn't had the time to catch up with it. I was very intrigued by the synopsis and the cover art definitely helped to create a alluring sense about the book. The cover alone inspires a Soviet kind of feeling and the synopsis turns the Soviet world into an alternate version. I had this book high on my to read list and as I was just a few pages in Wolfhound Century prov
Mikhail Koulikov
The author certainly makes an effort to be unique - and to replicate the mood and atmosphere of Russia in the first half of the 20th century. The setting is not an allegory for anything nor meant to be a commentary on anything - it just is. Yet, for a reader familiar with Russia novels set in the 1920's and 1930's, the inspirations are obvious. In fact, many of the details - the street names, the landmarks, the weapons, the technologies, even some of the specific incidents - may be meaningless u ...more
Anne Leonard
So I really really liked this book. I’m writing about it not as a review but as way to articulate what I enjoyed so much. I’ve read a lot of books over the last year that were much acclaimed as mind-bending or fantastic or important or whatever, none of which have really bent my mind. I picked up this book without knowing anything about it except that it was some sort of fantasy spy novel. (The British publisher, Gollancz, tweeted out a picture of the first page in a “What’s this book?” game, an ...more
Както казах по- рано, смесица от доста жанрове. Имаме тоталитарна държава със силно съветски привкус, същевременно има горски духове и сили, паднали каменни ангели от космоса, детективска история... Отнема известно време да се ориентира човек в историята и таман се ориентира и книгата вземе та свърши. Това и е доста сериозен недостатък, няма хич развръзка, всичко остава за втората част.
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Peter Higgins is a British author. Wolfhound Century and Truth and Fear are published by Gollancz in the UK and Orbit in the US.

Peter's short fiction has appeared in Fantasy: Best of the Year 2007 and Best New Fantasy 2, in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, Zahir and Revelation, and in Russian translation in Esli.
More about Peter Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Wolfhound Century (3 books)
  • Truth and Fear (Wolfhound Century, #2)
  • Radiant State
Truth and Fear (Wolfhound Century, #2) Vlast Radiant State South Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition

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