I never review fiction, so this isn't a review. I'm just saying that Mountains of the Moon by IJ Kay is absolutely sensational. It came out in January 2012, so it has had plenty of time to gather word of mouth, get on prize lists, all these things. It absolutely staggers me that it hasn't.
It didn't get longlisted for the Booker or Orange Prizes. It's not worth worrying too desperately about prizes if you're a writer, but longlisting this book (which is sensational) would have got it in front of more people, and it utterly should be. And however subjective prizes are, surely, surely, this book...
Oh, I don't know. I think pretty much the single most important thing to be aware of when you start writing is that some books will be worse than yours and do better, and that some books will be better than yours and do worse, and that all you can do is make your books as good as you can. IJ Kay has done that.
Seriously, read Mountains of the Moon.
I'm not going to say anything more about it. I don't read reviews because they're full of spoilers. But I couldn't put it down. My wife couldn't put it down. The other two people I know who have read it couldn't put it down.
NB. It is published by my publisher; I was given a copy by the book's agent, who I happen to know. I'm given lots of books; my publisher publishes lots of books. I've never done this for any of them.