Alexandria – Paul Kingsnorth

Nine centuries after humanity’s last desperate efforts to avert or escape the impacts of catastrophic climate change, a dwindling religious community scratches out an existence in drowned fenland. They are on constant guard against incursions from ‘demon’ Wayland and its mysterious domain, Alexandria. When one of their number dreams of the return of the swans, does this finally presage Alexandria’s fall?

Psychologically devastating, Kingsnorth’s novel cuts to the very marrow of the dilemmas that humanity has made and that make us human. It completes his loose ‘Buckmaster’ trilogy, which began with The Wake (set in 1066) and Beast (set in something like the present day), but each is a standalone work of great power.