The Dark Griffin
A Northerner son of a slave Arren Cardockson has come a long way due to his bond with Eluna the griffin who chose him and he named her. However, the teen griffiner understands in spite of the fact that his peers rule Cymria; his roots will never allow him to break through the glass ceiling. Some already feel the Northerner has been allowed to soar to high as he can. With Eluna at his side they watch over trade in the city of Eagleholm.
Arren and Eluna are assigned to catch a rogue griffin, which the Northerner hopes to make some money on this venture to pay off debts. Arren meets the nameless Dark Griffin who has lived alone in the mountainous wilderness with vague memories of his mother when he was a fledgling. They are connected, but that link harms Eluna who does leaving Arren in an emotional void in which he holds himself culpable.
This is a fascinating fantasy as readers will be enthralled by the violent nameless Dark Griffin who steals the show from his violent survival birth to his even more unrestrained savagery. Adding to the strong tale are Arren knows he is directly at fault with the foolish debt he incurred that led to the mission and Eluna’s death and the de facto racism against Northerners. Fast-paced, readers will enjoy flying the skies over K.J. Taylor’s Cymria in this outstanding fantasy. Harriet Klausner
In Virga, Admiral Chaison Fanning learns no good deed goes unpunished. His bodacious foray prevented an assault on his orb Slipstream; he was imprisoned for his actions, but he is liberated by he assumes his daring subversive wife Venera who when he was first captured he saw fleeing.
Returning to his town, to his amazement, Fanning is considered a traitor by those he saved; he expected the ruler who initially betrayed him to paint him as such but not his neighbors. As revolution, civil war, and outside invasion threaten the Virga spheres, he fights alongside Antaea Argyre, who is from another orb of the “system” near its edges. There he begins to understand there is much more to the universe than just what is connected to Virga’s central sun Candesce.
As with the first two books of the Virga chronicle (see SUN OF SUNS and QUEEN OF CANDESCE), it is the variety of town-spheres that make for a complex exciting science fiction saga in which anything seems possible under the sun (of Candesce that is). The story line is fast-paced from the onset as Fanning, though scorned and swiftboated continues to do what he thinks is the ethically right thing for the good of his people. His escapades never slow down as Karl Schroeder provides a strong outer space opera thriller. Harriet Klausner
Atlantis and Other Places
The super dozen alternate history tales were all previously published in the past decade, but never together. The one volume speaks loudly as to how skilled Harry Turtledove truly is when it comes to the sub-genre where he is the champion grandmaster whether it is a saga, a novel, a novella, or a short story. In the first entry, "Audubon in Atlantis", the naturalist arrives on the island seeking rare birds. The second tale satires Bush and Bin Laden who make strange “Bedfellows”, who need each other like yin and yang. All the "News from the Front" is the news not worth printing during WW II, as Mr. Turtledove rips the main stream media. Whether it is the American leaving the ducks swimming in Central Park to attack a German castle as in “The Catcher in the Rhine”, soldier “Uncle Alf” writing from occupied Paris in 1929 to his niece about thr lazy French, r Socrates role in the Peloponnesian Wars ("The Daimon", fans will agree this anthology affirms Mr. Turtledove’s abilities whether he lampoons or just changes a pivotal moment he remains the top guru of the alternative historical universe.