Monday, February 23, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/21

I'm back once again, for one of the very few dependable posts on Antick Musings this season. As always, this Monday I have a few books sent to me by the hard-working and book-loving publicists of Big Publishing (or Slightly Smaller Publishing, or sometimes even Not Large At All Publishing). So I'm going to look at them and describe them to you, as if you were sitting right next to me, through the magic of the Internets. Since I haven't read any of these books, it's best to assume that anything I write here that strikes you as odd or unpleasant is actually my mistake, and every one of these books is destined to be the one you clasp to yourself and love forever.

First up is The Exile by C.T. Adams, who is herself one-half of the "Cat Adams" writing team. (Though she seems to provide most of the name, with her partner responsible only for a lonely lower-case 'a.') It's the first book in an urban fantasy series called "The Fae," and no points at all for guessing what magical creatures are most important here. Our heroine is not only half-Fae, but the daughter of the Fae king, brought back to Earth by her witch mother as a young teen when things got too dangerous over there. And she now lives a quiet human life running a magic shop -- until, of course, a battle over the Fae succession spills over into her world as well, and drags her into it. (A fantasy novel entirely about someone living quietly and happily might be neat once in a while, but it's certainly not the done thing.) The Exile is a trade paperback, available from Tor on March 10th.

James Enge's The Wide World's End is at the opposite end of its series: it ends the trilogy called "A Tournament of Shadows," about the young life of his series hero Morlock Ambrosius. (Young is relative here; Morlock has been married for a hundred years when this book opens.) I read one of Enge's books about Morlock, This Crooked Way, a few years back, really enjoyed it, and have been piling up the rest in a so-far-vain hope that I'll find time to read through a bunch of them. (It still may happen.) As far as I can see, all of the Morlock books before this trilogy were standalones, so any of them or the series-opener, A Guile of Dragons, would be a good place to dip into Enge. And I found him to be a darkly entertaining sword-and-sorcery writer, so I do recommend taking a look. Wide World's End is a trade paperback from Pyr, available as of the 17th of February.

And last for this week is a new original anthology edited by Ellen Datlow, the reigning Queen of all dark genre fiction. (She usually rules the borderland between fantasy and horror, but her forces have influence far into SF, and her eye encompasses all those lands. And if I seem to be making her into Sauron the Editrix, well, I guess my metaphor ran away from me.) The Doll Collection has seventeen brand-new stories about creepy dolls and similar homunculi from folks like Joyce Carol Oates, Carrie Vaughan, Jeffrey Ford, Pat Cadigan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Richard Bowes, and Richard Kadrey. It's a Tor hardcover coming March 10th, and I expect it will keep you up at night.

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