Wow. Bit of a slow starter, mainly due to the sheer immensity of the imagination needing time to find expression, but after about thirty pages this just sank its harpoons into my mind and refused to let go. Moldywarpe, ferronaval, philosophy, blood rabbit & &. Even the description of that last is worthy of inclusion in literature, never mind the rest of the book. Simply wonderful in every way, the tale of Sham ap Soorap, the moletrain Medes and the orphaned Shroake siblings deserves a far wider audience than that the YA label can achieve. This book is handily as imaginative as Perdido Street Station, as politically aware as The Scar or Iron Council, and it is as accessible as The City & The City.One aspect which needs, nay deserves, highlighting in appreciation is the role of female characters. There is no gender-roling here, none of the weak damsels needing rescue, or strong men growing into protectors. There are just people, trying to get by in a hard and difficult world. In a word: outstanding.