Tag Archives: alternate history

Review: The Moon and the Sun (Vonda N. McIntyre)

Book Review: The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre
Historical Fantasy / Pocket / Standalone

The Moon and the Sun is a historical fantasy, or alternate history, about the discovery of a sea-monster by a 17th century scientist. At the behest of Louis VIX, who believes the monsters hold the secret to immortality, Yves de la Croix captures two sea-monsters for study. His sister Marie-Josèphe assists with his studies, but finds that the more she learns about the sea creatures, the less convinced she of their monstrosity she is. This Nebula Award winner from 1998 is an interesting mix of politics, science, art, and history, with obvious research and attention to detail behind it.

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Book Review: Cold Magic (Kate Elliott)

Review: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
Fantasy – #1 out of 3, Spiritwalker Trilogy

“A drowned land stretched beneath the waves: a forest of trees, a road paved of fitted stone; and a round enclosure, its walls built of white stone shimmering within the deep and pierced by four massive gates hewn of ivory, pearl, jade, and bone. The curling ribbons rippling along its contours were not currents of tidal water but banners sewn of silver and gold.

So does the spirit world enchant the unwary and lead them onto its perilous paths.”

Kate Elliott describes Cold Magic as an “Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendents of troödons”, and I really don’t think I can top that fabulous description. Cold Magic is set in an alternate version of Europe that has been colonized by the Mali Empire and the Celts, and seems to be in the throes of both an ice age and the Industrial Revolution. Protagonist Catherine Hassi Barahel leads a pretty comfortable, middle class life, going to school and gossiping with her cousin about boys… until (there’s always an ‘until’, right?) she ends up the victim of a contract signed by her family and is handed over to Andevai, a dangerous, powerful cold mage. She is immersed in the highly political power struggles of the mages, and begins to discover that she has a unique affinity for the spirit world.

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