The Silk Map by Chris Willrich
Ok wow crap... Was so sure I wrote and posted a great review of Chris's first book The Scroll of Years because of how damn much I loved it and I can not seem to find any record of it either saved or on the blog. The book was an absolutely amazing mix of sword and sorcery caper story and mature characterful romance along the lines of my favorite book to reccommend these days Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. Chris has taked characters from a westernish setting and put the. In a Silk Road fantasy setting. I can't say mucho out the second volume since it so reveals too much about the first. From the memories I have of Scroll of Years I expect more of the touching story revolving around the affection, respect and pain that bonds the cast of fastinating characters together. I must re read it and write a proper review of the first Gaunt and Bone novel....
Here is a link to Chris' site and the synopsis of this volume but a warning totall spoilers follow...
At the end of The Scroll of Years, the poet Persimmon Gaunt and her husband, the thief Imago Bone, had saved their child from evil forces at the price of trapping him within a pocket dimension. Now they will attempt what seems impossible; they will seek a way to recover their son. Allied with Snow Pine, a scrappy bandit who’s also lost her child to the Scroll of Years, Gaunt and Bone awaken the Great Sage, a monkeylike demigod of the East, currently trapped by vaster powers beneath a mountain. The Sage knows of a way to reach the Scroll — but there is a price. The three must seek the world’s greatest treasure and bring it back to him. They must find the worms of the alien Iron Moths, whose cocoons produce the wondrous material ironsilk.
And so the rogues join a grand contest waged along three thousand miles of dangerous and alluring trade routes between East and West. For many parties have simultaneously uncovered fragments of the Silk Map, a document pointing the way toward a nest of the Iron Moths. Our heroes tangle with Western treasure hunters, a blind mystic warrior and his homicidal magic carpet, a nomad princess determined to rebuild her father’s empire, and a secret society obsessed with guarding the lost paradise where the Moths are found — even if paradise must be protected by murder.
The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher
Orbit books has the best luck when it comes to finding talented authors to publish. Oversight almost slipped my notice till I was looking at the books that they have coming out over the next season. This is another book set in what seems to be becoming a very overpopulated Victorian era though this time eschewing the regular steam and gear powered devices for the occult and staring a dwindling group of heroes protecting the normals from magical things. In reading the sample chapters you get a feel for the Charlie's writing which like many British authors assumes readers are able to get the gist without too much exposition. As a fan of alternate histories this one is pretty high on my read it soon list.
"The end always happens faster than you think."