Monday, March 19, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/17

Things have been quiet around here for a few days, as I was preparing for and then attending Lunacon, and this post itself will probably be relatively short, since I just got back and have all of the usual weekend stuff to get done in two or three hours. Luckily, this is another one of those three-book weeks, instead of the ones with huge stacks.

So I'll take it as read that you folks know the usual disclaimer -- these books arrived my mailbox; I haven't read them since then; here's what I can tell you -- and jump right in:

Commedia della Morte is the latest "Comte Saint-Germain" novel from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, of which there must be umpty-ump by now. (They started in the '70s -- we had a bunch in the SFBC back when I started, twenty years ago -- and there have been more at irregular intervals since then. There's a list on Yarbro's website with 23 Saint-Germain novels, five more in related series, and that only goes through 2009.) I have read none of the books in this series, in which the historical conman was actually the immortal vampire he claimed to be, but plenty of people whose tastes I trust have recommended them. This one is a Tor hardcover, just published.

One of the rules of publishing is that you always have to mix things up -- if a series has usually been published as single volumes, then its time to do an omnibus, and if it's been in one big fat volume, then it's time to break it up. Following that guide, Vertical is republishing Osamu Tezuka's Dororo -- originally published by then, a few years back, as three separate volumes (all three of which I reviewed) -- as that one big fat volume this month. It's a samurai comic by one of the greats of world comics, so it's at least worth a look.

And then there's Beth Bernobich's Queen's Hunt, which is the second book in her "River of Souls" series (after Passion Play) -- it's epic fantasy with what looks like a strong romantic overlay  (or underlying superstructure, perhaps). That's coming from Tor in July in hardcover.

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