Jul 162019
 

The Guardian: There are no everyday elements to Kerstin Hall’s debut novella The Border Keeper. It begins on the outskirts of the spirit world, before moving to the weird realm of the underworld, Mkalis, where demon beasts and macabre gods are in constant battle. The grieving Vasethe has come to petition the eponymous border keeper: he wants her to guide him through Mkalis in search of his dead lover’s soul. What follows is a phantasmagorical picaresque through a lushly realised underworld, populated by a grotesque bestiary of fantastical creatures, with danger dogging our protagonists’ every step. This twisty example of the new weird genre examines love, loss and loyalty, packing skilful world-building and a powerful emotional punch into a little over 200 pages.

Jul 122019
 

Library Journal: Gideon Nav wants to escape servitude in the Ninth House. Armed with only her sword, her wit, and a bunch of dirty magazines, she is ready to leave behind the catacombs, the nuns, the dead, and especially necromancer Lady Harrowhawk, bane of her existence. However, Harrow calls on Gideon for a quest she cannot get out of: the emperor demands that the houses bring their firstborn necromancers, along with their cavaliers, to ascend to the position of Lyctor and serve him. Harrow does not have a cavalier; she has Gideon. Forced to the First House where the other House heirs and cavaliers arrive, Gideon and Harrow are thrust into a battle of politics, House secrets, and murder, while dealing with their own relationship, which is as sharp as a rapier blade.

VERDICT At once sarcastic, sincere, heart-wrenching, and honest pulpy enjoyment, filled with dark magic, swordplay, and lesbian necromancers, Muir’s debut is a fantastic sf/fantasy blend. Readers will discuss this journey for a long time and be clamoring for the next installment.

Jul 032019
 

Congratulations to Jo Ann Brown’s for The Amish Widower’s Twins making this week’s Publisher Weekly Mass Market Bestsellers List at #21!    

Jun 302019
 

a pair of black ear budsAudio rights to J.A. Pitts’ RAINBOW BRIGADE, the 5th book in the Sarah Beauhall series, to Ryan MacGavin at Audible, by Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.

Jun 302019
 

Bulgarian rights to Robert McCammon’s THE LISTENER, to Ciela by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.

French rights to Robert Jackson Bennett’s novella VIGILANCE, to du Belial, by Robin Batet at Anna Jarota Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.

Swedish rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH, to Palaver Press, by Philip Sane at The Lennart Sane Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.

Jun 262019
 

Tor.com: As noted in discussion of the first book in the series, the Lotus Kingdoms trilogy is one large arc spread over three separate novels, which I particularly appreciate in a second-world setting as grand in scope as that of the Eternal Sky. Released from the constraint of wedging in a stand-alone plot for each novel, Bear devotes all of her considerable craft to weaving one dense, affectively powerful story. The result is well worth the gamble. In fact, I’d argue that the tension ratcheting up toward the conclusion of the overarching plot makes this one of the most gripping middle novels I’ve read in a long time.

Truly, as a whole, The Red-Stained Wings is exactly the sort of fare I expect from Bear at top form: a tight, engaging, richly-described novel that maneuvers with precision through a broad cast of characters spread over an even broader field of action, rife with mythos and intrigue. And it’s got a bit of humor to it, too. While it’s impossible to sketch out the twists and complexities of the developing plot in this space, suffice to say that it’s executed with skill from first page to last.

As with the first book, the part-two-of-three structure of The Red-Stained Wings leaves me grasping for more story at the last page. Bear’s pacing and plotting are superb; the characters are engaging, witty, flawed. It’s impossible not to feel drawn along with the tight flow of the narrative from one person to the next or one immense vista to another, such as the dragon’s dead city or the volcano-and-sorcery ravaged Ansh-Sahal. Grandiose second-world fantasies in this vein are rarely done so well and so accessibly. I’d recommend reading The Stone in the Skull and The Red-Stained Wings one after another for the greatest possible effect—and I’ll probably reread them again before the last book, too, to gulp it down as one big, breathtaking tale.

Jun 242019
 

Shelf Awareness: Hutchinson’s gift for language makes this uncomfortable story beautiful and forceful. Courageous and commanding, Brave Face is a bold, banner announcement that there is a future for everyone.

Jun 192019
 

Darcie’s Little Badger’s debut novel, ELATSOE, a ghostly YA set in a contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant peoples. When Elatsoe’s beloved older cousin dies under mysterious circumstances, Elatsoe must track down his murderer in a town none too willing to give up its dark secrets. The book will be illustrated by Rovina Cai, of And the Ocean Was Our Sky and Tintinnabula, and will publish in Fall 2020. World rights were acquired by Nick Thomas at Levine Querido, in a pre-empt, via Michael Curry.

Jun 072019
 

Cover of Dragon Pear by Yoon Ha Lee.Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl is named a 2019 Horn Book Summer Reading middle-school selection!

Thirteen-year-old Min has a powerful secret: she’s a gumiho, a fox spirit disguised as a human, who can shape-shift and alter others’ perceptions. She enthusiastically wields these powers when she ditches her “dismal life” on the barren planet Jinju to track down her brother Jun, who’s gone AWOL. Lee’s richly detailed, cohesive, original vision is a lively mash-up of outer-space sci-fi and Korean culture and folklore.