Jul 31

Publishers Weekly on The Gates of Tagmeth

The Gates of Tagmeth by P.C. Hodgell

“The enchanting eighth installment of Hodgell’s Chronicles of the Kencyrath (after Sea of Time) continues to follow Jame, who is both sister and heir of Torisen, the Highlord of the Kencyr, and the avatar of the destructive side of the Kencyr’s Three-Faced God. Jame is given command of the fort of Tagmeth as a way to prove herself in lieu of her third year of military school, but her family’s political enemies live between Tagmeth and the Highlord’s forces, making her journey there treacherous-and the ancient evil that the Kencyr’s god has destined them to fight is drawing near from the other direction. The Kencyr live in one of the most deeply realized worlds in fantasy, a rich and complicated space that includes many cultures and riveting, three-dimensional characters. Full of dark wonder, wry humor, and the quirks of Jame’s inimitable personality, the newest installment in Hodgell’s life’s work demonstrates why it can be worthwhile for a writer to spend 40 years writing the same series.” — Publishers Weekly

Jul 28

Tor.com on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“The skill with which Drayden pulls off her fully realized world, bananas plot, and multivocal narrative is so impressive it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. And on top of her nearly supernatural ability to juggle something like thirty-seven balls at once, she’s also an inventive and delightful stylist with an eye for the novel metaphor and snappy turn of phrase. She can build a fleshed-out character in a handful of paragraphs, make you (well, sometimes) root for a demonic ancient evil who eats people in order to fit into her party dress (it’s complicated), and move you even as you can’t stop laughing. Though she’s pulling from sources as diverse as folkloric origin stories and Terry Pratchett, she balances the disparate elements of her story beautifully….The Prey of Gods is a remarkable debut; I can’t wait to see what Drayden does next.” — Tor.com

Jul 21

Kirkus starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“Hoping to build on the dazzling triumph of her Eternal Sky fantasy trilogy (Steles of the Sky, 2014, etc.), Bear embarks on a new trilogy set in the same universe.

The opening scene, in which a caravan heaves itself across the icy peaks of the Steles of the Sky, takes the narrative, literally and figuratively, out of familiar territory and into the Lotus Kingdoms, the contentious, broken shards of the once-mighty Alchemical Empire. Here, by night a black sun that gives heat but little light occupies the sky, while days are lit by a brilliant ribbon of stars. Against this spectacular backdrop Bear introduces an array of fine characters…This impending clash of armies, intrigue, and magic—in which, notably, most of the main characters are female—only later emerges as truly existential. It adds up to a panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 and, despite the more leisurely pacing, never lets go. It certainly is captivatingly different in style and substance than Bear’s previous trilogy but no less vivid, absorbing, and thrilling.

In an overcrowded field, another entry that stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

Jul 18

New York Times on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“A madcap, rapid-fire tale of South Africa in the year 2064, where a handful of individuals are suddenly plagued by godhood. One, Nomvula, is a lonely little township girl born with power. Several others acquire their abilities from godsend, to varying degrees of trauma or delight: Muzi, a gay teenager facing multiple tests of manhood; Stoker, a politician struggling with identity and idealism; and Riya, a diva with a magical voice and a hidden disability. Meanwhile Sydney, a nail technician who was born powerful like Nomvula but is much older and more ruthless, decides it’s time to reclaim her birthright as a bloodthirsty, vengeful demi-goddess. As a genetically engineered virus spreads and threatens to awaken the latent godhood of billions, these few special individuals come together to decide, ultimately, what manner of gods will rule the future. Oh — and also, the technological apocalypse looms as personal robots all over the world quietly become self-aware…Drayden’s delivery of all this is subtly poignant and slap-in-the-face deadpan — perfect for this novel-length thought exercise about what kinds of gods a cynical, self-absorbed postmodern society really deserves. Lots of fun.” — New York Times

Jul 12

Publishers Weekly on The Harbors of the Sun

The Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells

“The beautiful fifth Raksura fantasy begins immediately after the events of The Edge of Worlds, tracing the various journeys of Moon, Jade, and the rest of the now-scattered Raksuran archaeological expedition as they seek to regroup, recover a lost weapon, and attempt to prevent worldwide genocide by their erstwhile allies. Having done the heavy lifting of characterization in earlier books in the series, Wells is able to focus here on exploring how the Raksura fit into the wider world, dealing with the prejudices that result from their previous isolation, their shape-shifting ability and other magic, and their biological connection to the predatory Fell. The Fell themselves give rise to some of the more intriguing social explorations, as more is revealed about the half-Fell/half-Raksurans who were raised among the predators. Wells’s worldbuilding strengths are on display, and she knows just what to explain and what to imply, making this volume accessible to newcomers as well as longtime readers.” — Publishers Weekly

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