Alechia Dow writes an intriguing speculative story with her novel The Kindred. Her two protagonists—as is everyone else in the Monchuri system—have been linked with since birth. The Kindred program was created after The Second Chaos, a revolution in which the poor rose up demanding that their voices be heard by the rich. Maru’s top scientists created the mind pairing idea as a solution. Because those who are paired come to know each other’s thoughts so intimately, they often marry. However, in the case of Joy Abara and Felix Hamdi, a pairing is unlikely since he’s of royal blood and in line for the throneRead More →

Ellen Goodlett’s debut novel Rule is a fantasy-adventure story that recounts the tale of three sisters, each hiding a dangerous and treasonous secret.  When King Andros of Kolonya announces that these girls from vastly different backgrounds are his daughters, each struggles to adapt to new circumstances and expectations but eventually all three come to see being a bastard daughter of King Andros as an opportunity to make a difference and to change conditions for their people. Zofi, a Traveler from the North with a battle-ready stance, is built for a life on the move, not for one cooped up with haughty nobles. She has masteredRead More →

Readers of epic medieval fantasies and fans of the Game of Thrones will likely revel in The Smoke Thieves, the inaugural book in a new trilogy by Sally Green whose signature style features vivid action and unflinching violence.  Her characters are also well-drawn, with each chapter being designated to an individual character’s life and perspectives.  As the web of fate would have it, their five lives intersect, despite the differences in their statuses. In the novel’s imagined world with its unique geography, customs, and languages, no one is safe from exploitation or execution.  Green seems acutely aware that people in positions of political power don’tRead More →