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Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (78)

The Children Prayed

The Library of the Dead  (Edinburgh Nights, volume 1)

By T. L. Huchu  

1 Jul, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s The Library of the Dead is the first volume in T. L. Huchu’s Edinburgh Nights near-future fantasy series.

The troubles are long over; that is, the people of Scotland are no longer troubled by freedom. The king, his oligarch allies, and their well-armed servants have everything well in hand. The little people of Scotland can look forward to serving their betters. If no betters want them, they can try eke out a meagre living in a collapsed economy. If they fail, they will experience homelessness and starvation. If they tire of that, they can annoy a cop and be beaten to death. Ah, sweet death.

Ropafadzo Ropa” Moyo spends her days desperately trying to make enough money for her gran’s medications, also for rent and food, while also mothering her younger sister and trying to educate herself with audiobooks. Her desperate situation is clearly due to her poor lifestyle choices: being young, female, Black, and Scottish. 

She is not entirely without resources. She has one rare gift: she can speak with the dead. She makes her meagre living delivering messages from the recently deceased. 

The distance between messenger and informal private detective turns out to be quite small.

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Rock Always Wins

A Drowned Kingdom  (Drowned Kingdom, volume 1)

By P. L. Stuart  

24 Jun, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s A Drowned Kingdom is the first volume of P. L. Stuart’s secondary-universe sword-and-sorcery Drowned Kingdom Saga

The kingdom of Atalantyx is the greatest nation in the world. If you doubt this, simply ask Atalantyx’s Second Prince Othrun. He belongs to the kingdom’s royal family so must be an unimpeachable source. An inflexible, devout follower of the One God, Othrun holds his convictions without any trace of doubt or reflection. Having been placed by birth near the top of the kingdom’s pecking order, Othrun is confident that the world is as it should be; reform or deviation is therefore unthinkable.

However, Othrun is not the heir to the throne. His older half-brother Erthal is. Erthal is quite different from his brother.

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The One Less Traveled By

Coyote & Crow Roleplaying Game

By Connor Alexander  

17 Jun, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Connor Alexander’s1 2022 science-fantasy Coyote & Crow tabletop roleplaying (TTRPG) game was:

Developed and led by a team of Natives, this game envisions a world where colonization never happened and Indigenous nations rose to future prominence. 

The first thing a potential buyer will notice is that the core rulebook is a beautifully illustrated thick tome. What waits inside?

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A Good Time Then

Return of The Trickster  (Trickster, volume 3)

By Eden Robinson  

10 Jun, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s Return of The Trickster is the third and final volume in Eden Robinson’s Trickster trilogy. 

Jared Martin aspires to an unremarkable but useful life as a medical technician. Fate (in the form of difficult relatives) propels Jared towards something more dramatic. Jared’s biological father is Wee’git the Trickster, which means Jared is a potential Trickster as well. This means Jared has an enormous metaphoric target on his forehead. Any number of powerful entities would like to prey on a naïve, untrained Trickster. 

Powerful entities such as Jared’s biological aunt Georgina, known centuries ago as Jwasins and now best labelled the ogress.”

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Crossed the Deserts Bare

The Stardust Thief  (Sandsea Trilogy, volume 1)

By Chelsea Abdullah  

27 May, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Chelsea Abdullah’s 2022 The Stardust Thief is the first volume in Abdullah’s secondary-universe Sandsea Trilogy. 

Mortal humans live in a barren landscape scoured by the hubris of the ancient jinn kings, a land where even walled cities do not always provide protection against malicious jinn. But there are valuable treasures hidden in the wastelands, treasures a knowledgeable few know how to salvage. 

Loulie al-Nazari, famous as the Midnight Merchant, is one such expert. Her treasures are worthy of a sultan. However, the sultan who has her detained and dragged in front of him has no interest in her welfare. What he wants is her expertise.

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My Soul to Keep

Even Though I Knew the End

By C. L. Polk  

20 May, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


C. L. Polk’s 2022 Even Though I Knew the End is a stand-alone modern fantasy novel. 

Helen Brandt, disgraced sorcerer, formerly of the Brotherhood of the Compass, now ekes out a precarious living as an investigative warlock. A client asks her to investigate a murder scene, latest of the so-called White City Vampire serial killings. The scene reeks of powerful magic. Helen takes photos and prepares to leave, when she is interrupted by former colleagues from the Brotherhood of the Compass, who warn her away. 

Helen very much wants to please her client, Marlowe. The pay is lucrative and will add to the nest egg Helen plans to leave her girlfriend Edith. It will be a great help to Edith in her (planned) new life in San Francisco. But it will be a life without Helen. Helen knows she will die January 13, three days away. That’s something Edith doesn’t know.

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So Criminal

The Jade Setter of Janloon

By Fonda Lee  

13 May, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Fonda Lee’s 2022 The Jade Setter of Janloon is a stand-alone crime novella that shares a setting with Lee’s Hugo-nominated Green Bones secondary-world fantasy series. 

Pulo dreamed of being a Green Bone warrior but ultimately found his niche as an apprentice to jade setter Isin-jen. Now a skilled artisan, Pulo chaffs at Isin-jen’s peculiar lack of ambition. Why does Janloon’s best jade setter settle for a small facility in a neutral part of the city, when, if he were to ally with one of the great clans, vast wealth could be his?

Pulo reluctantly concludes that personal ambition requires leaving his mentor behind. Before he can put his plan into action, tragedy strikes.

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Time and Mercy

Shadow Life

By Hiromi Goto & Ann Xu  

29 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Hiromi Goto’s 2021 Shadow Life is a stand-alone modern fantasy graphic novella. Illustrations are by Ann Xu.

Consigned to a retirement home by her well-meaning children, Komiko waits for a suitable moment, then slips away into the night, taking with her only a few reminders of her previous life. Komiko carefully conceals her new home — a bachelor apartment — from her alarmed children. They do not see her as a functioning adult and would only try to place her in another facility. 

As it happens, none of her children are the entity about whom she should be the most worried.

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Who Will Be The Witness

The Red Palace

By June Hur  

22 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


June Hur’s 2022 The Red Palace is a stand-alone mystery novel. 

Hyeon is the child of a high-ranked official and his peasant mistress; she cannot be legally acknowledged. Her prospects in 18th century Joseon-dynasty Korea would seem to be limited. But she’s bright and hard-working and has managed to train as a nurse. She’s even achieved a position as a palace nurse. 

Posts of honor can be perilous. 

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