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Reviews from May 2021 (21)

Gettin’ Colder Day by Day

The Ice is Coming  (Wirrun, volume 1)

By Patricia Wrightson  

30 May, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1977’s The Ice is Coming is the first volume in Patricia Wrightson’s Wirrun trilogy. 

The Ninya, the ice folk who live unnoticed beneath Australia, have a dream: to return to the surface world, freeze it solid, and then be free to roam. Only the Eldest Nargun, a volcanic rock creature that can summon fire, could confound the Ninya. If the Ninya act quickly, by the time their ancient enemy learns what the Ninya are up to, it will be too late.

Unfortunately for the simple ice folk, they boldly discuss their vision unaware that someone is eavesdropping.

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Girls Like Girls

I’m in Love with the Villainess, volume 1

By Inori  

28 May, 2021



Inori’s 2019 I’m in Love with the Villainess, Vol. 1 is the first volume in their I’m in Love with the Villainess light novel series. Illustrations are by Hanagata. The translation is by Jean Yamazaki. 

As soon as someone refers to her as Rae Taylor, Rei Ohashi realizes that the actor’s nightmare in which she finds herself (finding oneself onstage in a play in which one doesn’t know one’s character, one’s lines, or even the plot) is actually her favourite dating sim, Revolution. While many people in her position might be concerned about how she got there — was it Truck-kun?1 Did a stack of books crush her? — Rei has well defined priorities. Her first is to seduce Revolution’s designated villain, blue-blooded bully Claire François. 

Rae might look forward to Sapphic delights … provided that she can overcome some steep challenges. Not least of which is Rae herself. 

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A Shadow Hanging Over Me

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Sixth Annual Collection  (The Year’s Best Science Fiction, volume 6)

By Gardner Dozois  

27 May, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


Gardner Dozois’ 1989 The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Sixth Annual Collectionis, rather unsurprisingly, the sixth volume in his series of annual anthologies collecting the best SF of the previous year. In the case of the Sixth, that year was 1988. Dozois, unlike some people I could mention, actually believed in letting years run to their end before deciding which works of that year were best.

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Mystery to Me

The Forest of Stolen Girls

By June Hur  

26 May, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


June Hur’s 2021 The Forest of Stolen Girls is a standalone historical mystery. 

Disguised as a man, armed with her father Detective Min Jewoo’s half-burned notebook, Min Hwani returns to the island of Jeju, hoping to learn why her father vanished there. Hwani has not seen Jeju in five years, not since Jewoo accepted a promotion to a better position on the mainland and the family moved. Hwani doesn’t want to return, but she has a filial duty to find her father or at least find out what happened to him. Detecting isn’t proper female behavior, but filial duty trumps convention. 

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Destiny’s Child

Arrows of the Queen  (The Heralds of Valdemar, volume 1)

By Mercedes Lackey  

25 May, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1987’s Arrows of the Queen is the first volume in a Mercedes Lackey series, the Heralds of Valdemar. 

At thirteen, Talia faces an arranged marriage. Whether she will be some stranger’s Firstwife or an Underwife matters little to Talia, who has no interest in being an overworked brood mare. Talia also has no interest in entering the Temple Cloisters as a silent servant of the gods. Since those are the only two choices the patriarchal Holderfolk offer women, Talia seems doomed to a miserable life. 

Fate intervenes, in the form of a magical telepathic horse.

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The Defiant Ones

Poe Must Die

By Marc Olden  

23 May, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

1 comment

1978’s Poe Must Die is a standalone historical occult thriller by prolific author Marc Olden.

It’s 1848 and actor and sorcerer Jonathan is determined to uncover the location of Solomon’s Throne, which he believes to hold magical tomes of great import. These books would allow him to control Hell and rival God himself! Jonathan will commit crimes without number to succeed in his evil quest. 

But the terminally ill American millionaire Justin Coltman is first past the post: he finds the crucial tomes. The actor follows Coltman back to America, hoping to recover the books. 

A complication ensues, in the form of the brutal boxer Pierce James Figg. 

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Magic Spell

Dr. Marvellus Djinn’s Odd Scholars

By B. Sharise Moore  

21 May, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

B. Sharise Moore’s 2021Dr. Marvellus Djinn’s Odd Scholars is a standalone young-adult historical fantasy.

1920: four lucky scholars will win a chance to tour Dr. Marvellus Djinn’s the Motherland, a theme park no doubt as wonderous as its creator. After all, how could the Scholar of Sorcery (widely known to have survived a white lynch mob) fail to create something unparalleled in theme park history? 

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In a True Migrating

The Turning Place: Stories of a Future Past

By Jean E. Karl  

20 May, 2021

Special Requests


Jean E. Karl’s 1976 The Turning Place: Stories of a Future Past is a collection focused on the aftermath a disaster: the Clordian Sweep. 

Humanity ventures out into interstellar space and discovers that the stars they covet are already claimed. The Clordians, who are slightly more technologically advanced than humans, have had starflight for some time and have used their head start to build a nice little empire. But it’s only a head start and the humans might catch up. The Clordians decide to be proactive and exterminate the human race. 

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She’s a Mystery Girl

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 1

By Natsu Hyuuga  

19 May, 2021


1 comment

The Apothecary Diaries, Volume One is the first volume in Natsu Hyuuga’s episodic historical mystery series of light novels. The illustrator is Nekokurage. The 2020 English edition was translated by Kevin Steinbach.

Kidnapped by greedy villagers, Maomao was sold to the hougong, the rear palace. This is a sprawling residence for the emperor’s many wives and consorts, as well as for the eunuchs and servants who tend to them. Steadfastly unsentimental and practical, Maomao set out to keep a low profile until her term of service was up and she could return home. (Home is a red-light district where she lived with her doting apothecary stepfather.) 

Maomao would like out for several reasons. She’s homesick, yes, but she’s also afraid for her life. The hougong is a hotbed of vicious rivalry. To be noticed by the powerful is to become a target for jealous and quite possibly homicidal hougong folk. Better to be a mere servant than a figure of interest.

Maomao is too clever by half and becomes a figure of interest.

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Gold Cage

Return of the Thief  (Queen’s Thief, volume 6)

By Megan Whalen Turner  

18 May, 2021

Special Requests


2020’s Return of the Thief is the sixth and final volume in Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series. 

Born lame and mute, by custom Pheris should have been exposed or smothered at birth. His mother spares him, a ploy to spite his grasping, malevolent grandfather Baron Erondites. The powerful baron has a misshapen grandson and heir, ha ha ha! The baron has good reason to have him killed. Pheris survives only because he seems completely meek and inoffensive. But he has a secret: he’s actually extremely intelligent and adept at manipulating others. His doting nurse coaches him in concealment. 

Eventually Pheris is sent off to serve at court, as is customary for aristocratic heirs. He becomes an attendant to High King Eugenides. 

There’s little doubt that the baron will have his disgraceful grandson murdered once Pheris has served his purpose [1]. Death may come at any moment … until then, Pheris is experiencing court life at an interesting moment in history of the Peninsula. 

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