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INTERVIEWS

Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded

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REVIEW | Midwinter by Matthew Sturges (Pyr)

Midwinter was my most anticipated read from Pyr this year and it turns out that it more than lived up to my expectations. This is the world of the Faery, but the way Sturges handles them is a bit more original and realistic in a lot of senses than I have read before. Even though the Fae are long lived and most have some modicum of magical abilities (called Gifts) they are not the powerful beings most would associate them as and theirs is even an almost caste-like culture. That said Titania and Mab are quite powerful and there is something different about the main character Mauritaine. When I first started I thought I was in the same universe that Justina Robson created with her Keeping It Real /Quantum Gravity series, although Sturges truly makes the idea of his own shared dimensions standout. We join Mauritaine where he has been imprisoned for two years of a life sentence for an offense not revealed until much later on. To the Fae of this world honor and loyalty are most important and to Mauritaine it is nearly everything. Even though sentenced to life in jail he is offered a pardon if he succeeds on a mission for Titania, Queen of the Seelie. He is allowed to bring some of the prisoners with him to aide in the mission. All of the would be rogues in his rag tag band have been imprisoned wrongly or so we are lead to believe. The group consists of a fallen nobleman, a human, a female fae from the dimension of Avalona, and an old comrade of Mauritaine that went down with him. The author sets up the dimensional idea really well, which left me grasping from more detail. The human is supposed to be from a contemporary time as our own, although contact has been mostly cut off from the human world for hundreds of years. There are hints at the reasons Faery has been cut off from the human world, which will hopefully be revealed in future installments. The group has to head through enemy territory and a disputed zone of the Seelie and Unseelie called The Contested Lands and their shifting places. I loved the idea of the shifting places, where time can be different depending on where you stand in the Contested Lands. So a short journey can be done quickly or slowly but the shirting places can also tear you apart. The floating cities of Mab were a truly inspired touch even though you only get a few glimpses of them. I did feel the ending was a bit rushed as I saw the book only had about 30 pages left and they still hadn't achieved a major objective of their mission. But Sturges managed to pull it off, which is better than feeling like the story is dragging as a few books I've read recently have done. The world building although not as detailed as I would have like, was impressive with its history that leaves the door open for so much more. My biggest gripe is not getting to learn more about these other worlds and their histories, especially Avalona, which we learn almost nothing about in how it differs from Fae. Midwinter should definitely appeal to readers of Abercrombie and Lynch or anyone looking for an adventurous read à la the dirty dozen with a healthy dose of fantasy mixed in. Pyr and Lou Anders have once proven again that they are the leader in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Midwinter is now in the running from one of my top reads of the year. I'll be one of the first to grab a copy of the follow-up of Mauritaine's adventures in The Office of the Shadow, which will hopefully bow early next year. I give Midwinter 8.5 out of 10 hats. Book Link: US Canada UK

2 comments:

ediFanoB said...

Another good review which recommends Midwinter. The book is on my list.

SKelly said...

This sounds right up my alley, especially with the reccomendation to readers of Abercrombie and Lynch, both authors whose works I have devoured in the past few months. I will need to check it out.