Review: The Horizon by Gautam Bhatia

The Horizon is a thoughtful adult fantasy that uses speculative fiction to inspect real-world issues.

The Horizon begins immediately after the events of the first book, The Wall. It’s set in Sumer, a city enclosed by a massive, impenetrable, circular wall. No one knows how the city was created. No one has been outside of it for thousands of years. In the first book, we see how the main character, Mithila, and a rebel group known as the Young Tarafians aim to cross the city’s border. The Horizon begins by inspecting the changes in Sumer now the people know the wall can be crossed.

This series is perfect for people who need more complex, contemplative speculative fiction. Gautam Bhatia uses The Horizon to delve deeply into philosophical and political ideas about societal justice. He has created an isolated city that is self-sustaining yet unequal, where the truth is controlled by the powerful, but widespread suffering is prevented. Nothing has an easy answer in The Horizon – every moment is nuanced and thoughtful. It has a strong focus on class struggle and breaking out of violent societal cycles. This book is a wonderfully thought-provoking read. At the same time, the series could use a heavier focus on character development. Although many of the characters were memorable, they didn’t necessarily feel alive -they were tools used to inspect the larger themes and ideas of the book. This series might not have widespread appeal to the more casual speculative fiction reader, but those who love thoughtful political fantasy should check it out.

Thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Information

Gautam Bhatia is an Indian science fiction writer.

He is the author of the SF Duology, The Wall and The Horizon, both of which featured on Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading Lists in 2021 (Best Debut Novel) and 2022 (Best Science Fiction Novel). The Wall was a finalist for the 2021 Valley of Words Best English Language Novel Prize. Bhatia was long-listed for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer at the 2021 World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon).

Bhatia is also the co-ordinating editor of Strange Horizons, a weekly online magazine of fantasy and science fiction, which won the British Fantasy Award in 2021, and has been a finalist for the Hugo Awards every year since 2013.

His reviews and essays on science fiction and fantasy have appeared in Strange Horizons, The Hindustan Times, Scroll, and The Wire.

In his spare time, he is a lawyer.

Get this book

If you want to remember to check out this book you should Add to Goodreads!

You can pre/order the book from retail sites such as Amazon

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

see you next time! Luminosity Library

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