John Crowley, Flint and Mirror (Tor 4/22) Our most excellent literary fantastist expands his 2018 novella of the same name in this historical fantasy about the Elizabethan conflict between the English and Irish, focused on an Irish lord who finds himself with torn loyalties after receiving two magical tokens: an obsidian mirror from Queen Elizabeth and a chip of flint from the ancient peoples of Ireland.
Melissa Chadburn, A Tiny Upward Shove (Farrar, Straus, Giroux 4/22) Chadburn explores her Filipino heritage in this story of a woman on the margins of society who is murdered and becomes an aswang – a spirit from folklore, capable of seeing the memories of those she knew in life… and those of her killer. A moving meditation on vengeance and mercy.
Andrew DeYoung, The Temps (Keylight 3/22) Temp work is bad enough without apocalyptic events. In this biting, bizarre workplace satire, Jacob’s first day as a temp in the mailroom at Delphi corporate headquarters is interrupted when toxic gas kills the full-time employees, forcing him to form a society-in-miniature with the other temporary workers.
Nicola Griffith, Spear (Tordotcom 4/22) Griffith is one of most ambitious and unpredictable authors, and now we get her take on the Matter of Britain in the form of a queer story inspired by the myth of Parsifal, with roots in the legends of various culture. (Check out our interview with Griffith on page 11 in this issue.) ‘‘A marvelously concise epic that is entirely Griffith’s own.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
T.L. Huchu, Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments (Tor 4/22) Huchu continues the Edinburgh Nights series that began in blockbuster fantasy The Library of the Dead with this sequel, also set in magical postapocalyptic Edinburgh. Teenage Ropa Moyo, who makes a tenuous living through her ability to talk to ghosts, investigates the case of a boy in a mysterious coma at a private, magical hospital.
N.K. Jemisin, The Awakened Kingdom and Other Stories (Orbit UK limited 2019; Subterranean 2/22) One of our most celebrated authors – and the recipient of a Macarthur ‘‘Genius Grant’’ – returns to the world of the Inheritance trilogy (begun with Locus Award-winning 2010 debut The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) in this collection of four stories. The volume from Subterranean Press is a beautiful, oversized limited edition that includes four color plates by Reiko Murakami.
T. Kingfisher, Nettle & Bone (Tor 4/22) Ursula Vernon’s dark-fiction alter ego explores fairytale territory with this fantasy about a younger princess living in a convent who undertakes three tasks in a quest to help her sister, who’s trapped in an abusive marriage. The darkness is l eavened by humor, and the book shows off Kingfisher’s ‘‘striking voice, humanity, and gift for the relatable weird… the more I read of Nettle & Bone, the more I loved it. I recommend it highly.’’ [Liz Bourke]
K.J. Parker, The Long Game (Subterranean 3/22) Stories by Parker (a pseudonym for Tom Holt) are reliably inventive, sardonic, and surprising, and this humorous novella about an exorcist who develops an unusually friendly relationship with a demon shows off those strengths, with even more dry humor than usual. ‘‘Parker may not have invented the idea of using an exasperated, put-upon narrator to undercut the implicit pretensions of a classic fantasy setting, but he’s certainly become its reigning virtuoso.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Vaishnavi Patel, Kaikeyi (Redhook 4/22) This debut novel is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz for its inventive and feminist take on the ancient Indian epic The Ramayana. The jealous queen from that tale has been reimagined as a princess who turns to magic in order to free herself from the control of men and gods, and in the process becomes a warrior, diplomat, and queen.
Rory Power, In a Garden Burning Gold (Del Rey 4/22) This fantasy novel begins the Argyrosi series, inspired by Greek mythology. Near-immortal twins Rhea and Lexos have spent a century helping their father rule his nation by using their magical control over the seasons and the tides, while managing the ruler’s anger and conflicts with their younger siblings. Now their father’s power is waning, a rebellion is growing, and war looms. Can the twins keep the world from falling apart?
From the June 2022 issue of Locus.
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