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(Rotherweird #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  5,597 ratings  ·  716 reviews
1558: Twelve children, gifted far beyond their years, are banished by their Tudor queen to the town of Rotherweird. Some say they are the golden generation; some say the devil's spawn. But everyone knows they are something to be revered - and feared.

Four and a half centuries on, cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I and still bound by its ancient laws, Rother
ebook, 480 pages
Published May 18th 2017 (first published April 25th 2017)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, england
It comes as something of a shock to see that this whimsical English fantasy was penned by the QC who represented the BBC in the Hutton Inquiry. If you approach Rotherweird with expectations of some clever allegory on government control or the media society, though, you're likely to be disappointed – this is a little insular caprice all of its own, indeed very much the kind of thing one expects an English barrister to have been beavering away on during his idle Sunday afternoons.

A little country
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
23/25 (92%) 5 stars.
Let's be honest, people. We all have expectations when we start reading a book. We read it because we expect it to be excellent because all our friends have been gushing about it - maybe we even read it because it's called Kissing the Coronavirus, just so that our brain can chill out for a couple minutes before delivering a delicious rant. But there's always expectations, and they always influence our perception of a book. A good book can still be a disappointment if you've e
Thomas Strömquist
Definitely having mixed feelings about this one. The idea and world-building are both compelling and brilliant - the story leaves a lot to be desired. Rotherweird has been, more or less isolated, or at least separated, from the rest of England by Elizabeth I. One condition of it's status and independence is that nobody is allowed to research and certainly not teach the town's history. Rest of world history, yes - but only from 1800 and forward. This is of course gravely felt by Jonah Oblong, new ...more
Moray Teale
I received a free advance copy of this work through netgalley and Jo Fletcher Books in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Such promise in the wonderful cover and the intriguing blurb but sadly I was left dissatisfied. Caldecott's interesting conceit is an English town isolated and made self-governing during the reign of Elizabeth I for reason or reasons unknown. Jonah Oblong, an outsider, becomes embroiled in the affairs of this bizarre place when he is hired as a history teacher at the lo
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
*I was sent this for free by the publisher to review*

I have to say, I really was looking forward to reading this book, and I actually had the second one sent to me at the same time, but unfortunately this book just didn't work for me the same way it has for some of the others who have reviewed it. Personally, I like to read to have fun and therefore I don't often pick up books which focus on mystery or academia, but more on pure fantasy. For me, I think this one was a bit of a slow read at times
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm....I feel torn about this book: it had much to recommend it, in its conception and in its eccentricity. But. It did not consistently hold my interest and it dragged. I’m not sure I understood it all. It was bizarre. Did I like it? I don’t even know that! I didn’t DISlike it...
Brian Clegg
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I much prefer fantasy novels set in the real world, rather than some swords and sorcery kingdom, so was delighted to come across Rotherweird, with its cracking concept of an establishment from the sixteenth century that still exists in the present day as a town and surrounding countryside cut off from the rest of England with its own rich traditions. Rotherweird hides a dark secret involving gateways to an alternate world and a phenomenon that can produce strange combinations of creatures and ab ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-own
A difficult book to rate for me, although I loved the story, I felt like I missed quite a bit, I read another review saying there were quite a lot of links to English folktales. I obviously missed these for not being English.
Overall I really enjoyed this book with being refreshingly different!
Julia Sarene
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julia by: Marielle
This is a weird one - so the name is fitting!
For the first 1/4 I had no idea what the book was even about, but the mystery and the strange and yet engaging characters had me hooked anyway.
It is urban fantasy in a way, as it takes part in our world, but as there is little use of modern things in the little town of Rotherweird it mostly doesn't feel that way.
Though modern technology is frowned upon, there's plenty of science talk and inventions, and oh so many riddles and puzzles to solve!

It is
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a very enjoyable but weirdly written fully nice prose and a quirky characters especially the town and countryside itself.

A strange fantasy more steampunk in places than urban fantasy, but I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rotherweird is a book that’s been on my radar for a while. The cover is incredibly eye-catching. The premise is unique and intriguing, and the story proved to be just that. I can honestly say that I’ve never encountered a setting quite like it. By turns charming and almost sinister, Rotherweird hides deep secrets and a dark past that is utterly unknown to any of its residents. When outsiders, o
Rotherweird is a strange town. Cut off from the rest of England during the reign of Elizabeth I, the outside world has barely encroached on the town since then. Populated almost entirely by borderline genius eccentrics, outsiders aren’t really encouraged except for in exceptional circumstances – like the disappearance of one of the town’s teachers, prompting them to seek a replacement. On getting the job of history teacher, Jonah Oblong arrives in Rotherweird and, stranger still, is given to und ...more
Eva Müller
May 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review can also be found on my blog

DNF at 34%.

Rotherweird really wants to be quirky but only manages to have a cast of characters with names from the list 'weirdest British names'. There's for example Veronal Slickstone (he's greedy), Jonah Oblong (he's a teacher), Deidre Banter (she's greedy), Godfery Fanguin (he's a former teacher), Rhombus Snorkel (he's also greedy), Vixen Valourhand (she pole-vaults over fences because of...reasons) and countless other characters with oh-so-funny names
Barry Mulvany
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite an odd book that's hard to describe. It kind of reminded me somewhat of the Library of Mount Char, with a little Gaiman thrown in. It's definitely very British. It's all set in the town of Rotherweird, which, the reasons are explained through the story, is effectively an independent town within England where learning about the history of the town is forbidden and anybody not from the town or its environs is actively discouraged to visit unless invited. There is also quite a high level of i ...more
Eveline Hecklinger
I am not sure what I am missing with these low ratings for this book, but holy shit it was a ride and as soon as I can I will be hitting book two.
Admittedly, this book is rather weird (ha) with its mixing of different genres such as steampunk and fantasy in an ordinary world, but I think this is exactly the point. I couldn't put it down and at least I know that I am in agreement with Klaus the Contradictorian. Books are so subjective, but for me, this was an amazing ride and I am so grateful Kl
Purple Tringite
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully enjoyable. This was a real treat - just the right amount of fantasy without having to learn a new language. Amazed to find the author is a QC. Have also discovered the next book in the series so will start that shortly. This was a spontaneous buy in the book shop and paid off very well
Nick Brett
May 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Books are like people, they have personalities. Some you will love and remember forever, some you will forget, some you will avoid and some you will just hate. Sadly this book falls into the last category. It’s taken me over a year to read during which time I have given up on it so many times and read over 100 other books.
I loved the cover artwork and it also had an interesting premise. The first chapter/introduction seemed to suggest something different too.
In 1558 some exceptionally gifted chi
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took me forever (for me) to read. I loved it, in the beginning and through most of it, but it got to the point where it was just dragging on at times. It was so wordy and so dense, that it felt like I was reading for hours at a time to discover I'd only read 2%.

I liked it, but I wish I had read it outside of a time of reading it for a challenge (when I wanted to be quick and it still took a week) and I would have liked to have taken notes on it. There were so many characters and so mu
May 10, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, fantasy, serie
In Gran Bretagna Andrew Caldecott è sicuramente un nome famoso anche fuori dal mondo letterario, qui in Italia credo possa essere conosciuto solo nell'ambiente legale.
Non è stato dunque l'autore ad interessarmi, quello che mi ha spinto a comprare Rotherweird, ancor più della trama, è stata la copertina.
Divisa tra il presente e l'epoca elisabettiana, la vicenda che coinvolge il borgo di Rotherweird promette meraviglie.
Separata ed indipendente dal resto del paese per ordine di Elisabetta I, Rother
I don't feel like I can rate this book. It's not fair to go with one star simply because I did not like it. Five stars for the lovely hardback with unusual illustrations and the helpful introductory List of Characters. The book is organized beautifully with great precision and bursting with original and unusual characters, creations, entrances, exits and events. I truly tried my best to engage in the fantasy, but my brain would not cooperate as it never welcomes fantasy. I must admit defeat and ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Čím víc jsem z téhle knihy přečetla, tím nadšenější jsem z ní byla. Nenechte se odradit lehce pomalejším tempem a faktem, že vůbec netušíte, co se z toho vyklube, a prostě čtěte dál. Bude to stát za to, fakt. Avšak pro každého to není, to musím uznat. Během čtení mi ale na mysl neustále přicházel Neil Gaiman a jeho román Neverwhere (Nikdykde). Opskurno mi vážně připomínalo tohle Gaimanovo podivné dílo, zároveň však zůstalo naprosto své. Zkrátka věřím, že pokud máte Neverwhere rádi (nebo obecně G ...more
I had a lot of fun reading this book. It’s dark, quirky, a great escape, and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series. Edited to add: the illustrations were a perfect fit.

I received a free copy from the publisher.
Danie Ware
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Whenever I open a book, and the first thing I see is a list of Dramatis Personae, I get a sinking feeling - because I know this book will have way too many characters.

And lo...

Fantastic concept, beautifully written, with some lovely word-games built in - but sadly, utterly impenetrable. Too many characters, too many plot threads, narrative points of view changing way too fast, not only halfway though a scene, but halfway through a paragraph (and then back), over and again. Had no way to get a g
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Rotherweird [Jan 2, 2020] 35 24 Feb 01, 2020 10:51AM  

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Andrew Caldecott is a QC specialising in media, defamation and libel law, as well as a novelist and occasional playwright. He represented the BBC in the Hutton Inquiry (into the death of biological warfare expert and UN weapons inspector David Kelly), the Guardian in the Leveson Inquiry (into the British press following the phone hacking scandal), and supermodel Naomi Campbell in her landmark priv ...more

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