ALL THE MURMURING BONES
A. G. Slatter
Macabre sea deals, crumbling manors, and haunting magic that infiltrates all the nooks and crannies of this world make this a novel worth falling in love with.
We follow Miren, the last of the O’Malley line, who have, through the centuries, been blessed with bounty from the sea, with riches that made them powerful and influential in their seaside town. But now, that magic is disintegrating; the O’Malley family is crumbling, with Miren being the youngest, the sole first-born daughter who might be able to change the family’s fates. But with everyone around her wanting to use her, she must combat her birth-right and seek answers to the disturbing questions about her family’s history and the truth about how they had gained their prosperity.
Between the narrative are short fairy tales of a dark variety. Each one is an engaging fable of the O’Malley history, steeped in layers of wonder and danger, each one adding another clue to the mystery that echoes back centuries, concerning children being sacrificed to the mer.
Miren is an engaging character, a young woman who is both feminine and powerful, using all her knowledge and ability to seek out the secrets that had been hidden from her. I highly recommend this tale to anyone who loves gothic strangeness, who loves the darker edges of merfolk, who wants engaging mystery and all their fantastical creatures to be haunting rather than bright.
Content warning: there is child death discussed within this book.
Thank you to Titan Books for an eARC of this title.
Posted in Recommendation
Tagged a g slatter, books, dark fantasy, fantasy, fiction, gothic, gothic fantasy, merfolk, novel, prose, reading, sea stories
These are two stories both dealing with women taking the power of a choice into their hands, though they diverge in theme and in resolution.
FROM WITCH TO QUEEN AND GOD by L D Lewis is a dark tale about a merwitch who ascends to land with her army of unwanteds in order to become even more than who and what she is. This is a tale of power and control and its nuances. Published in Mermaids Monthly.
AS IF WAITING by A. Katherine Black is a lighter fare that follows a feline woman as she progresses through a physical representation of an impossible choice she’s deliberating over. This one deals with our conflictions in the face of multiple positive, wonderful paths where we can only choose one. Published in Zooscape Magazine.
Posted in Recommendation
Tagged a katherine black, fantasy, fiction, l d lewis, mermaids, mermaids monthly, prose, reading, science-fiction, sea stories, zooscape
(Between Earth & Sky I)
by Rebecca Roanhorse
Roanhorse has an easy reading style that quickly immerses you into this wonderful world filled with tales of gods and sea-people, crow-riders and spearmaidens. There are giant water spiders and blood magic and a city that stretches vertically above a river. And that’s just the tip of the awesome world-building.
This is a political drama mixed with an adventure journey featuring three lead point of views: a Sun Priest, a Crow God and a woman of the sea. This is a tale about setting right past wrongs, about vengeance and power and, ultimately, the desire for peace and respect.
Serapio, a blind man from the mountains, journeys with Xiala, a captain in need of a ship, toward the great city of Tova where the Sun Priest and all her dedicants prepare to welcome the eclipse. This is the beginning of an epic fantasy trilogy inspired by historical cultures in the Americas.
The stories for this week are both about possibility. They’re about what might have been or what might be.
SHE’D NEVER HAD A NAME BEFORE by J. R. Dawson is a story about a woman who meets the sister she never had, the two of them from neighboring universes. They discover parallels about themselves and their lives. At its core, this tale delves into what-ifs in a literal sense, touching on what-could-have-beens had things been just a little different. Published in Lightspeed Magazine.
YOUR OWN UNDOING by P. H. Lee is a second person narrative where a familiar takes on different shapes in order to sneak in where their witch is being kept. They tell her a story, the story of her life, pushing her to understand what is real and what is story. This is a dark tale with a beautiful metaphor. Published in Apex Magazine.
Posted in Recommendation
Tagged apex, fantasy, fiction, j r dawson, lightspeed, p h lee, prose, reading, Recommendation, science-fiction, short story
Both stories this week are on the longer side, the two of them taking the time to deal with resistance against tyranny.
MY LOVE OUR LADY SLAUGHTER by Christine Lucas takes place on Mars, in a setting that feels science-fantasy, where certain people have the capability of inter-body telekinesis and are set apart, healing wounded without regard to which side of a war they fight. When found, they are forced to take a stand to protect their own morals and each other. Published in Strange Horizons 2020.
GIRLS WITH NEEDLES AND FROST by Jenny Rae Rappaport is a tale about seamstresses who slowly, slowly build a revolution against their oppressors. What I love about this story is that it acknowledges the humanity in the oppressors while maintaining the need for the oppressed to rise up. There’s also something metaphorically wonderful about the summoning of a dragon that can represent the congregation of the people finally being able to stand together. Published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2020.