A Local Habitation
DAW, Mar 3 2010, $7.99
Half Fae changeling October “Toby” Daye has become a private investigator in the world of mortals as she distrusts her Faerie heritage more than that of the sneaky humans. However, though her preference is to say no, Toby knows better than to refuse a request from her Fairie liege The Shadowed Hills Duke Sylvester Torquill. Coming to her abode in San Francisco, he asks her to insure that his niece, the Countess of Tamed Lightening, is okay as she has ceased all contact with her family.
The Countess January O'Leary runs an information management company in which she employs purebred and changeling fae. A serial killer is murdering the staff. Toby investigates trying to prevent more homicides from occurring; not expecting her inquiries to intertwine.
The second October Daye (Rosemary and Rue) private investigative urban fantasy is a wonderful one sitting read that hooks the audience from the first visitation to the last. Toby terrific is tough and spunky as she holds the dual investigations together with her Noir like scrutiny. Fans will enjoy the heroine’s tours of San Francisco and the land of Fairie as she works a deadly whodunit case while wondering if October will survive long enough to see November. Harriet Klausner
The River King's Road
Gallery Books, (Pocket), Mar 9 2010, $26.00
Once Oakharn and Langmyr were provinces of the same empire, but when the empire collapsed, both became kingdoms on opposite sides of the Seivern River. War has been a constant between the two countries with many dying on both sides. Sir Galefrid of Bull’s March in Oakharn travels with his wife and infant son to Willowfield in Langmyr hoping to broker a peace. While they attend church, they and the locals are attacked; the only survivors of the atrocity are the infant Winston, son of Galefrid and brother to Leferic. The mercenary knight Brys Tarnell takes care of Winston until he can get him to safety.
The massacre is just the beginning as a red mist appears in the village killing everyone. Brys knows it is a Thorn’s doing. A Thorn is a maimed witch, acruel sadistic killer; void of human feelings. What he is ignorant of is that Galefred’s acrimonious brother Leferic, coveting power, made a deal with evil. Leferic is now the lord, but learns Winston lives; he makes another deal with the devil to eliminate the heir. Brys and peasant woman Odosse seek a safe place for the baby as Leferic’s hired Thorn gives chase. Every step is dangerous as Leferic needs Winston dead.
This is a delightful epic fantasy that will remind readers of the movie Willow in a Terry Brooks’ early Shannon saga. The good guys and gals are likable and admirable as they sacrifice their safety to keep the infant safe. A key element is that the audience will understand Leferic whose sibling rivalry and jealousy has turned him into a sociopath with ambition and willingness to cut any Faustian deal to achieve his goal of power. Although more infant issues would have been a terrific addition, fans will root for the mercenary, the peasant and the baby as they try to stay alive. Harriet Klausner
Mira, Mar 1 2010, $7.99
The civil war between Werecat clans seems imminent. Malone has challenged Sanders for the pivotal Chair of the Territorial Council. Although Sanders and his daughter Faythe wants to grieve the death of his son Ethan (see Prey), she will be there for her dad; as will the rest of their Pride.
As the other council members try to prevent clan war, the Sanders Alpha sends their tabbies (Faythe, Manx and Kaci) to safety. However, instead of reaching the haven, the thunderbirds catch the trio. To save Kaci’s life, Faythe cuts a deal that sends her, her mate Marc Ramos and Calvin’s stepson Jace, whom the two lovers do not trust, into Malone territory with no guarantees.
Though the plot is a bit thin, this is an exhilarating werewolf thriller as Faythe is at her best with her first person account of the seemingly inevitable civil war, her capture with the younger tabbies and her venture into enemy territory with her mate and the stepson of her dad’s rivals. Fans will appreciate her latest escapades while newcomers will seek the backlist (see Pride, Rogue and Shift) as the former student knows werewolf blood will flow unless she and her two traveling hunks pull off a miracle. Harriet Klausner