DAW, Aug 7 2012, $15.00
In the Land of the Faerie, Dragon born High Prince Cassandra and her supporters have defeated the usurper Basilisk Prince to become the rightful ruler. However, winning the war does not denote winning the peace as healing must come to the land and those trapped in the Shadowlands on the other side must be given the opportunity to come home.
Prince Cassandra sends former Hound Stormwolf the Rider she healed to Shadowlands to welcome home the exiled. He meets Nighthawlk in Spain who sends him to Toronto where Alexjandro Martin AKA Graycloud resides with his human fara’ip ward Valory Martin a psychic who he helped escape from the Collector. Meanwhile Stormwolf learns to his horror that the Hounds of the Wild Hunt assault the souls of humans, draining their dra’aj, which leaves the victims extremely lethargic. He meets Valory when he thinks he is rescuing her from an assault that was planned to catch those who stalk her. They, other Riders and mortal victims take the fight to the Hounds while also in the Shadowlands Foxblood and his pack seek the girl as a means to obtain the Horn and keep the High Prince in Faerie.
This is a fabulous urban fantasy sequel to The Mirror Prince as the war may be over in Faerie but the healing has just begun as some especially in the Shadowlands reject the Cycle of Prince Cassandra as the high ruler. Action-packed, the irony of this strong tale is summed up by those who never crossed over from Faerie believing that humans are mythological creatures. Fans will enjoy Valory’s tour of Toronto as Violette Malan writes a strong thriller. Harriet Klausner
The Grass King's Concubine
DAW, Aug 7 2012. $7.99
The world is divided into two parts between the World Below where elemental spirit Grass King rules and the World Above where humans reside. The two realms never intertwine until Marcellan ventures into the World Below. The Grass King and his inner Cadre think nothing much about the human visitor except as a curiosity. However, he proves inadvertently insidious when he introduces human concepts of rights to the masses.
Her visions of a magical court haunt heiress Aude Pèlerin des Puiz and propel her to seek the source of her family's incredible wealth. She finds a sea of thin gray grass where once rice paddies flourished as to her horror she concludes that the droughts that dried up the rice paddies connect to her wealth. Her inquiry leads Aude and her lover Jehan end up in the World Below where the Cadre demands she become The Grass King’s Concubine.
Readers will enjoy this entertaining fantasy that occurs several centuries after the events of Living With Ghosts. The engaging storyline tends to accelerate and decelerate as the pace is uneven especially the transitions between Marcellan and Aude. Still with a strong cast, a deep environs and a fascinating mystery, fans will want to know what happened to Marcellan and what is happening to Aude. Harriet Klausner
Jim C. Hines
DAW, Aug 7 2012, $24.95
Isaac Vainio is a rare magic practitioner as a Libriomancer who makes real objects from things in books manifest in reality. However, needing to earn a living, he turns in magic for bar codes as he accepts employment at the Copper River Library. Meyerii vampires materialized from a book attack him, Isaac is fortunate to survive.
He soon learns the vampiress have assaulted other magic users as they target the Die Zwelf Portenaere “Porters” in retaliation for attacks on their kind. The six century old Libriomancer founding father of the Porters Johannes Gutenberg vanishes. Isaac, dryad Lena Greenwood and Smudge the fire-spider begin a mission to end the war and free Gutenberg, but are unaware of a diabolical and hostile third party.
With a nod to the movie Inkheart, Libriomancer is an exciting urban fantasy starring a wonderful hero, a fabulous kick butt sidekick and a burning lunatic “pet” who left Jig the Goblin’s shoulder for a new fiery gig. Fast-paced and filled humor, readers will enjoy the escapades of Isaac and his two allies as they leap off the pages of Jim C. Hines terrific thriller.