Recommendations, Part 2: Fantasy

Accident Of Stars, by Foz Meadows
A great, chewy Big Fat Fantasy that asks questions like “What if the Worldwalker and her allies back the wrong horse?” Gwen Vere, late of Australia, has regretted putting Leoden on the throne of Kena for years. Now a new generation of Worldwalkers and allies has arisen, and it may be time to make things right. Very enjoyable!

Edge Of Worlds, by Martha Wells
Wells widens the view with her newest book, moving away from the Reaches, and the courts, and friends (and enemies) the Raksura know. Which is fine, because Moon, Jade, Stone, and the rest are perfectly able to make friends (and yes, enemies) wherever they go. I cannot get enough of Wells’ Raksura books; this one is adventure on an epic scale.

Spells Of Blood And Kin, by Claire Humphrey
Alternately following Lissa, who’s taken over her just-deceased Russian grandmother’s responsibilities as a witch; Maksim, whose leashed curse comes roaring back with the witch’s death; and Nick, whose bloody encounter with Maksim brings out the very worst in him, Spells builds tension beautifully while staying thoughtful about the legacies we pass down to each other for good or ill, and what they cost. It’s a curiously compassionate, atmospheric look at violent conflict, and never what I expected.

Stiletto, by Daniel O’Malley
In many ways, Stiletto is about the diplomatic aftermath of an almost-war, in which the supernatural Chequy and the scientifically advanced Grafters have to figure out how to get along. Since each group has been culturally inculcated to hate and fear the other for centuries, the process is… tense. But when the peace talks are threatened, it’ll take the combined efforts of Chequy agent Felicity and Grafter Odette to save the whole process. And, hopefully, the world. Action-packed and very moving, punctuated by a number of quite funny moments.

Summerlong, by Peter S. Beagle
Simple on the surface — a retired professor and airline stewardess’s lives blow apart then come back together after they take in a mysterious young woman — Summerlong is anything but. It’s a beautifully crafted Persephone tale that goes headfirst into the full implications of what a spring rebirth means, and captures all the terrifying, exhilarating power of a brush with deity. This is a book suffused with awe in the oldest sense of the word: beauty, and safety, and terror. A masterpiece.

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