The Sword Of The Lady
Roc, Sep 2009, $25.95
Rudi Mackenzie continues his dangerous trek across what was once the United States in his quest to learn more about the Change that crippled the superpower turning the world into literally a darker neo Dark Ages in which electricity ceased. His goal is to go the source in Nantucket. Along the way, he has made friends, several of whom are traveling with him, and many enemies.
He attains his destination only to find a stranger world that makes what he seen before seem normal. Nantucket Island is totally woodland with no more than two hundred confused people who insist they come from other eras, but somehow were transported to the center of the Change. Nothing makes sense to the wary and weary Rudi as Nantucket offers no answers that he can fathom. However, there is one house made of stone still standing. Still searching for clues to what caused the Change over two decades ago; Rudi enters and immediately is drawn to a sword that he picks up as if the weapon was calling him. What he thought he knew will be sliced and diced forever.
The third Change post apocalyptic thriller (see SUNRISE LANDS and THE SCOURGE OF GOD) continues Rudi and company’s trek across the battered dying land trying to come back to life two plus decades later. The troupe has reached their destination, but Nantucket is nothing like what they or the audience expected when they set out; for that matter the trip across the country was also filled with inexplicable unexpected happenings as the gods intruded along the way. Although it is imperative to have recently at least read THE SCOURGE OF GOD, fans will enjoy this excellent epic that will stun the reader with the direction S.M. Stirling spins as Rudi has come a long way to grab the sword and apparently has a long way still to go. Harriet Klausner
The Strangely Beautiful Tale Of Miss Percy Parker
Leanna Renee Hieber
Leisure, Sep 2009, $6.99
In 1888 an albino with hair as white as snow and living in London, reticent Miss Percy Parker has a special gift when it comes to communicating in languages and a skill to see the future through visions. Though a female and extremely timid at that, Professor Alexi Rychman has invited Percy to study at the Athens Academy; serendipitously hidden in plain sight in the big city; he sees her as powerful and passionate while she sees herself as frightened and different
Percy is a super student grasping her studies rather quickly and easily; everything that is except math. Professor Rychman is not just proud of the best pupil at the academy, he has plans for Miss Percy Parker when he deems her ready to join his secret organization (too secret to even mention their name) struggling to keep the world from destruction from the likes of Ripper. The Professor underestimates Miss Percy who begins to uncover what is going on inside the Athens Academy and also inside their respective hearts.
This is a terrific Victorian urban romantic fantasy with a nod to My Fair Lady that will hook the audience from the moment Alexi invites the uncanny Percy to attend the Academy. Although Percy overbites with her self-deprecating commentaries about being different, fans will relish alongside Alexi her adventures against the paranormal like Ripper and with teaching the professor that love is the most powerful magic under heaven to battle those from hell. Harriet Klausner
What A Dragon Should Know
Zebra, Sep 2009, $6.99
As the third born dragon son Gwenvael the Handsome knows his family thinks he is a fool though the women fall all over him. Thus he is taken aback when his seven months pregnant sister-in-law Queen Annwyl assigns him to a key mission. Because of her delicate condition, she cannot travel to negotiate a treaty with the Northlanders and the Beast; she orders him to go in her place; especially after his crack that she is big. Gwenvael would do anything for Annwyl, so he agrees. He revels in her confidence in him but accepts the mission mostly to escape her wrath and her husband his older brother Fearghus the Destroyer and his adopted sister Izzy the muscle queen before they beat his face into a bloody pulp for upsetting the pregnant queen.
He arrives at his destination only to learn that the most feared warrior in the world the Beast is a brilliant human female Dagmar Reinholdt, whose ingenious plots have protected her father the warlord Reinholdt and their people. An even bigger shock than learning who the Beast is (to Gwenvael the Handsome) is that Dagmar with her glasses and plain robes on seems to ignore his beauty; women jump his bones and scales not scorn him. Instead to his greatest shock, she appreciates his intelligence, a first for a dragon who lives by his charm and looks. As Gwenvael tries to win Dagmar's heart, treachery from within threatens both their families.
This is a super hysterical romantic fantasy starring a sly vainglorious dragon and a clever fraudulent human falling in love though she verbally rips off a few pounds of scales from his skin. Fans will laugh loudly at the gender war as Dagmar takes the handsome out of Gwenvael and Gwenvael takes the beast out of Dagmar. G.A. Aiken has written a tremendous irreverent tale that amusingly turns sexually changes Beauty and the Beast. Harriet Klausner