Book: The Song of the Underground by Wendy Reakescategories: Book, Subterranean, Secret, Fire of London, Steam Punk, Gothic, Urban Fantasy
Wendy Reakesabout this book: 'The Song of the Underground' is an Urban Fantasy novel, which means real life, real time, played out alongside a fantasy subplot. In this case it's a 400 year old subterranean city beneath London; the British government's best kept secret.
If you're thinking the city underground is a dark foreboding place, rife with crime; think again. Sous Llyndum has unique homes interlaced with canals and steam-driven boats, a miniature forest with exotic birds, a waterfall, a remarkable palace, industry and other unexpected finds. The people have their own laws, their own ethics and morals and they've even morphed their own fashion and food supply. They also possess great wealth from their mined mineral supply.
The idea for the story came after I watched a TV program about disused railway stations and a network of Victorian tunnels beneath the city of London. In fact, if you Google 'Subterranean London', you'll see some amazing real life pictures.
I decided to expand on the principle after I had a notion one day about where the poor were housed after the Great Fire of London of 1666 when 63,000 people were made homeless. Where would they have gone? Some left the city for the country, but what about the poor who were left with nothing. I don't think anyone has ever mentioned that, but if you stumble across the answer somewhere, do let me know. Bearing in mind that most of the city was burnt to the ground, in those days they had to clear it and rebuild. Could they have done that with homeless people littering the streets? I don't think so, which is how the story of them seeking shelter underground was born.
Naturally, the government above ground have a substantial hold on the city and their way of life, but the Llyns must not be underestimated. Even though the current Prime Minister Alice Burton seeks to take the city back to develop much needed housing for modern day Londoners, the people of Sous Llyndum have no intention of giving up all they hold dear without a fight. There begins a story of endurance, survival and love, where you won't fail to sympathize for the two main characters, Mark Buzzard, a travelling modern day American and a white skinned green eyed beauty called Wren, who meet in a graveyard one night, fall in love, vow to marry and live together in the world above, despite all opposition.
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