Wanderers and Islanders - Steve Cockayne
I picked this book up, the first of a trilogy, without really knowing a great deal about the storyline and was pleasantly surprised by it.

Essentially, Wanderers and Islanders is three stories in one, although as the book goes on it becomes clear that those three stories are heavily interlinked. One storyline focusses on Leonardo, who has been a court magician for longer than he can remember, and whose focus is on finding ways to look into the future. The second is that of Lazarus, hired to oversee the renovation of a mysterious house within which a dark presence lives. Thirdly, there's Rusty, a young boy who meets a young woman from the Wanderers in his childhood, after which nothing will ever be the same again.

It's always good to come across a fantasy novel (or series) that doesn't just plumb the pseudomedieval swords & sorcery vein without a second thought - although there is sorcery involved, Wanderers and Islanders feels more Victorian in its setting, with the mechanisation of particular tasks just becoming commonplace. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works out in the following two books, the first of which is [b:The Iron Chain|2293862|The Iron Chain (Legends of the Land 2)|Steve Cockayne|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Z45856MNL._SL75_.jpg|1865686].