Crispin is a "circus baby," born in a caravan, working as a daemon handler and aerialist... until an accident on the high wire casts him out into a world even stranger that the circus that nurtured him.
Crispin falls headlong into the arms of Rae, an orphan girl of equally exotic origins. And soars in daemon-powered biplanes over the wastelands of the Raw, joining the awesome battle between Ferupe's slow-dying Queen and her adversary, the Lizard Significant.
The War in the Waste is the first book of the EVER trilogy by Felicity Savage, author of Humility Garden and Delta City.
Savage's first novel, Humility Garden, was published in 1995, when she was 18. Her third novel, which kicks off a trilogy, displays, like her first two, a maturity of perception and vision that belie her age. While the novel concentrates on developing characters and setting up their world, it also features a richer plot and more action than most series starts. In customs, war, cultures and races, Savage's new fantasy world is intriguingly like, yet unlike, our own. Most unusually, daemons form the basis of all advanced technology, from spotlights to aircraft engines. The war is between the Queen-worshipping Ferupians and the lizard-tailed Kirekunis. The protagonist is Crispin Kateralbin, a daemon-handler born in--and driven out of--the circus, who, after various escapades, eventually joins the Ferupian Queen's Air Force. Romance, and an equally strong character, is provided in Rae Ash, a second-generation cultist whom Crispin meets in a town music hall. Their adventures highlight this well-written, well-paced novel, which, while not mapping new territory, presents high fantasy with zest and flair.