My attention was drawn today to the following very favourable review of The Dog of the North in the US Publishers' Weekly. It's hard not to be satisfied with with a starred review that characterises the atmosphere as "almost Shakespearean".
The Dog of the North Tim Stretton. Macmillan UK/Tor (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $14.95 paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-330-46083-5Debut author Stretton skillfully chronicles court intrigue in rival city-states in this unique fantasy tale. Arren is a young boy taken from poverty and brought into the Lord of Croad's household. Beauceron, the Dog of the North, is a vassal of the Snow King of Mettingloom and obsessive in his desire to capture the city of Croad. Each plot line moves adroitly through themes of love and revenge toward a surprising climax. Stretton adeptly uses courtly, carefully structured discourse and Italianate names and places to evoke an almost Shakespearean atmosphere, providing hints to Beauceron's identity but never giving too much away. This cleverly plotted fantasy mystery is full of intelligent dialogue, enthralling characters, and dramatic world-building that will hold readers' attention to the last page.