Friday, March 12, 2010


Working on the April issue of the I can send it off to Pete to get it on the website. Here are some reviews from the prolific Harriet.

Raven's Ladder
Jeffrey Overstreet
Waterbrook, Feb 16 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9781400074679

When he was a prince Cal-raven freed Auralia’s Colors only to find their “house” collapsed killing his father. Still believing that the Keeper sent Auralia to them for a reason, he led his people to safety inside a stone labyrinth after overcoming the beastmen (see Cyndere’s Midnight). However their refuge proves unsafe when something from underground is trying to drill through the stones. The people of Abascar flee again while their ruler King Cal-raven foretells the rebuilding of a New Abascar.

However, King Cal-raven is distracted by the Seers of the House Bel Amica. He fails to protect his people who have plans for the wanderers and having learned of Auralia’s Colors from those they have trapped with their charms, they weave this into their lies. Only Cyndere as daughter of Bel Amica’s widow Queen Thesera abetted by Jordam the House of Cent Regus beastman; and “Rescue” the mysterious ale boy can save the weary wanderers. However they must overcome the brutal cursed Cent Regus beastmen, the sneaky Seers advisors to the queen of Bel Amica and the wavering monarch Cal-raven having lost his faith in the colors and his vision.

The third colorful Abascar religious fantasy is a terrific entry with a powerful message of keep the faith at all times especially when you feel abandoned. The story line is fast-paced but character driven as Cyndere continues to believe even more so while Cal-raven is losing his beliefs. Although filled with action throughout, it is the King’s questioning what the Keeper wants for the House of Abascar that he helped to collapse that makes this a strong inspirational fantasy.
Harriet Klausner

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
Tor, Mar 16 2010, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765320483

Through time memorial, Warriors have fought for and defended their country and will do so in the future. In fiction, Warriors appear in every genre; they turn up in the past, present and future; are various species; on diverse locations throughout the universe and beyond; and are of both human genders. George R.R. Martin points this out in the Introduction that Warriors play major roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Forever War, All’s Quiet on the Western Front and Starship Trooper for instance. George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois deployed well known authors to write Warrior tales in their particular genre and favorite period; however writers are an independent group so fans will find delightful surprises.

An entry sure to be popular is “The Custom of the Army” by Diane Gabaldon focusing on a seventeenth century colonial soldier who is being court-martialed and asks Lord John to speak up for him.. Joe Haldeman’s “Forever Bound” takes place in the near future when warriors have implants that make them into a cohesive unit due to a group mind, but one soldier finds his partner, but though he thinks differently he continues to fight for his country. In Lawrence Block’s “Clean Slate”, Katherine has a more personal war to fight as her dad’s Little Soldier. In 4577, “Seven Years From Home” (by Naomi Novik), Ruth the diplomat arrives on a planet to ignite a civil war between the two local human species, one of which needs more land.

These are a sample of a strong diverse 20-story collection of new tales as Robin Hobb and Steven Saylor takes the audience to Rome and Carthage; Cecilia Holland has Vikings as her stars; Joe R. Lansdale highlights the "Soldierin" in the American Civil War. Readers will enjoy this varied anthology as the contributors use differing genres, era, locations, species, and genders, but share in common a deep look at the heart of Warriors. Harriet Klausner

Come Hell or High Water
Michelle Bardsley
Signet, Feb 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451228789

In Broken Heart, Oklahoma single mom Phoebe Allen is looking forward for a short breather while her four years old son Danny is visiting Disneyworld with his dad. However, her respite ends almost immediately after Danny leaves.

Half demon Connor Ballard courts the vampiric mom because he believes she is his only hope to prevent his purebred demon stepmother Lilith from escaping her incarceration in hell. However his pursuit changes when they are mated, but he knows he must stand vigilant because if Lilith escapes to earth all hell will break out. Phoebe realizes she must help the hunk, but does not have to consign her heart with new mate; now if only her heart would heed her advice.

As always with this chick-lit urban fantasy romance series, Michelle Bardsley combines humor with romance and this time literally the stepmom from hell. The story line is fast-paced as the wind comes sweeping down the plain is not sweet; almost as terrifying as the heroine’s first night in town when a Consortium member welcomed her to Oklahoma sooner than she wanted. Fans will enjoy this thin but fun tale as the vampire mom figuratively insists “Over My Dead Body”. Harriet Klausner

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