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Archive for 'Alternate History'

Prosperity

Prosperity (2018) Alexis Hall (Prosperity) Set in Prosperity in 1863. I’ve had this book for a bit, but wasn’t sure I was in the mood for a fantasy, but when a discussion of Our Flag Means Death. Which I haven’t seen, but sounds utterly marvelous. So since I’m not going to be watching Our Flag […]

In the Cards

In the Cards (2019) Celia Lake (Mysterious Charm) Set in England and Sicily in 1925 Yes, I still (badly) wants these books edited, but I am still reading. Explaining how they really were, that was more complicated. They’d made agreements, he and Galen, about when they’d share certain things, and when they wouldn’t. This is […]

Wards of the Roses

Wards of the Roses (2019) Celia Lake (Mysterious Charm) Set in Wales & England in 1920 I still want these books to be edited. But the story and world building keep pulling me in. Kate Davies doesn’t want a return to war, but she would like the more interesting assignments she got while all the […]

A Sanctuary for Soulden

A Sanctuary for Soulden (2021) J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry (The Lords of Bucknall Club) Set in an alternate England in the early 1800s. Philip Winthrop, Viscount Soulden is easily bored. But you wouldn’t guess that if you saw him out on the town, where he presents himself as a fop, concerned with little other […]

Magician’s Hoard

Magician’s Hoard (2019) Celia Lake (Mysterious Charm) Set in England in 1926. Pross has been a widow for six years, raising her daughter, running a small bookstore, and taking on the occasional research project. “What did you want from the Society, then? You seem to have most of it covered.” He looked up at her […]

A Case for Christmas

A Case for Christmas (2021) J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry (The Lords of Bucknall Club) Set in an alternate England during the Napoleonic Era. The only thing that makes this a fantasy is this bit: In 1783, the Marriage Act Amendment was introduced in England to allow marriages between same-sex couples. This was done to […]

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (2021) India Holton (Dangerous Damsels) . Set in an alternate Victorian England. Cecilia Bassingwaite is a proper Victorian young lady, and she is also a member of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, and she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Ned Lightbourne […]

An Irregular Arrangement

An Irregular Arrangement A. L. Lester (Border Magic) Set in England in 1920. This is a short story set in the Border Magic world. Tim and Flora are best friends who chose to get married to make things safer for Tim and his lover, Rupert. Val is finally twenty one and ready to leave their […]

Widdershins

Widdershins (2014) Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin) Set in New England in 1897 This is a Lovecraftian story–only without all the racism and misanthropy. One advantage of not being able to picture things in my head is that I can read things like this: Its head was worse, however. Thanks to Christine, I’d spent […]

Hexbreaker

Hexbreaker (2016) Jordan L. Hawk (Hexworld) Set in New York City in 1897. Tom Halloran escaped the death of his family–and his own imprisonment–and became a city cop. But hiding the fact he is a witch is about to become difficult. Hexbreaking was too rare a skill. If anyone found out, they’d want to know […]

Goblin Fruit

Goblin Fruit (2019) Celia Lake (Mysterious Charm) Set in England in 1924 Lizzie has taken a job for the ministry, hoping it will allow her and her sister to survive–especially since her work during the war hadn’t helped her to get any other jobs. Carillon also does work for the ministry, and keeps a public […]

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Audio Book

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Audio Book (2014) Marie Brennan Narrated by Kate Reading (A Natural History of Dragons) This is such a delightful book, and the audio is just as good. if you are likely to be deterred by descriptions of violence, disease, foods alien to the Scirling palate, strange […]

A Marvellous Light

A Marvellous Light (2021) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England prior to The Great War. Maybe 1906 or 1907. After his parents were killed ina car wreck, Robin Blyth has to pick up the pieces of the life they left him and his sister. “You don’t talk about your parents much.” “I am— […]

Outcrossing

Outcrossing (2018) Celia Lake (Mysterious Charm) Set in alternate England in 1922. Rufus returned from The Great War unscathed, to a village that doesn’t understand why he returned when their sons and brothers and fathers didn’t. (T)hey found him even more suspicious and – just wrong, one of the wives had called him. “Nothing natural […]

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (2021) Mackenzi Lee (Montague Siblings) Nearly 20 years have passed since Monty (and then Felicity) fled England and their father. In the mean time, their younger brother has grown into an adult–but one with his own problems. Adrian has struggled with his mind his entire life, but after […]

Throne of Jade

Throne of Jade (2006) Naomi Novik (Temeraire) Set in an alternate timeline, 1805 After the Chinese discovered that their treasured dragon egg ended up with an English naval captain, they started insisting Temeraire be returned to China. However, Temeraire will not be separated from Lawrence. First, a major chunk of this book is the journey […]

His Majesty’s Dragon

His Majesty’s Dragon (2006) Naomi Novik (Temeraire) Set during the Napoleonic Wars, but with dragons. Michael has been listening to the Aubrey–Maturin series, and I wasn’t quite up for that, but decide that a revisiting of Temeraire would fit the bill. Captain Will Laurence of the HMS Reliant does not expect his life to be […]

A Case of Possession

A Case of Possession (2014) KJ Charles (A Charm of Magpies) “An honest mandarin.” There was a dubious murmur at that. Most of those present regarded bribery as something between a handy tool and a form of tax; none of them had high opinions of mandarins of any nationality. “I beg your pardon,” he began, […]

The Magpie Lord

The Magpie Lord (2013) KJ Charles (A Charm of Magpies) I can’t bear it. He’d never said the words in thirty-seven years, not even in the times of hunger and degradation. He wanted to say them now. Merrick frowned. “Got to fight it, my lord.” “Fight what? Give me something to fight, and I’ll fight […]

Lady Mechanika Volume 6: Sangre

Lady Mechanika Volume 6: Sangre (2020) by Joe Benitez, M.M. Chen, Brian Ching, Martin Montiel Lady Mechanika has taken a case in Spain. And she goes alone, because Mister Lewis is still not speaking to her, refusing to forgive her the actions she took in the previous book. The story opens 500 years previously, in […]

Turning Darkness Into Light

Turning Darkness Into Light (2019) Marie Brennan Audrey Camherst, grand-daughter of the famous Lady Trent, is a scholar in her own right. But it’s so hard when I can feel everyone looking at me, waiting to see what I’ll do. Not my family, of course; if I decided I wanted to retire to a country […]

Gunpowder Alchemy

Gunpowder Alchemy (2014) Jeannie Lin Set in China in 1850 It has taken me a really long time to read this; it’s been my lunch-time reading book, but I don’t always read at lunch, and after lunch I walk and listen to either an audiobook or podcasts. So–maybe I’ve been reading this for a year? […]

Within the Sanctuary of Wings

Within the Sanctuary of Wings (2017) Marie Brennan Lady Trent has become a force in her own right–she has made amazing discoveries and published scientific papers, yet she still has not be accepted by the Fellow of the Philosophers’ Colloquium. She has also become political, no matter how unwittingly. (W)e cannot pretend the education of […]

In the Labyrinth of Drakes: A Memoir by Lady Trent

In the Labyrinth of Drakes: A Memoir by Lady Trent (2016) Marie Brennan The 4th book in Lady Trent’s memoirs finds her traveling with Will to Akhia to attempt to start a dragon breeding program. (I suppose I should offer fair warning. Because this volume of my memoirs concerns itself with my research in Akhia, […]

Voyage of the Basilisk

Voyage of the Basilisk (2015) Marie Brennan The third installment of the Memoirs of Lady Trent finds Isabella on a ship with her son, his governess, and her friend Tom Wilker touring the world while continuing her research on dragons. I found my quarters at first shockingly small, then acceptable, then unbearable, and finally as […]

Swordspoint

Swordspoint (1987) Ellen Kushner I have no idea what brings it on, but I’ve been in one of those moods where I read a few paragraphs of a book, decide I’m not in the mood for it, and try something else. As is typically, I have to resort to something I know I love, so […]

From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review

From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review (2016) Marie Brennan This short story is a series of scientific letters between Isabella Camherst and Benjamin Talbot in “The Falchester Weekly Review” about a supposed discovery made by Talbot. It’s a brief story, and silly, since it’s all the politeness of scientists accusing each other […]

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was (1984) Barry Hughart Set in the Middle Kingdom of China, Year of the Tiger 3337 (AD 639) All the children in the village between the ages of eight and thirteen have fall victim to an unknown illness, and all the silkworms have died, […]

The Tropic of Serpents

The Tropic of Serpents (2014) Marie Brennan The second novel in the Lady Trent series finds Isabella preparing to go on another scientific journey–this one to Eriga, where they hope to document other types of dragons. The warnings delivered in my first foreword continue to apply: if you are likely to be deterred by descriptions […]

The Far West

The Far West (2012) Patricia C. Wrede There are plans for a new expedition to explore and research the Far West, and they’re looking for scientists and others with experience to join. In my experience, the things everybody knows are just exactly the ones that are most likely to be mistaken in some important way […]

Across the Great Barrier

Across the Great Barrier (2011) Patricia C. Wrede Eff Rothmer has returned to Mill City, and much to her chagrin, people are calling her a hero, for the work she did in coming up with a way to destroy the mirror bug infestation. BEING A HEROINE IS NOWHERE NEAR THE FUN FOLKS MAKE IT OUT […]

Thirteenth Child

Thirteenth Child (2009) Patricia C. Wrede This story is set in an alternate US (North Columbia) in the mid-1800s. (T)he Columbian Presidents past the first five—George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Eduard Baier, and Herman Augustus Morton. Eff is the twin of a seventh son, and also a thirteenth child. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT A SEVENTH […]

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (2013) Marie Brennan After publishing many scientific papers upon the natural history of dragons, Lady Trent has finally decided to write her memoirs. This is a fantasy set in a world somewhat like ours, only with dragons, and at a time and place comparable to […]

River of Stars

River of Stars (2013) Guy Gavriel Kay I had forgotten just how melancholy the end of this book was. That doesn’t make the book any less good, but it did leave me craving something happy when I finished it. As with all Guy Gavriel Kay books, there are a variety of characters you follow over […]

Under Heaven

Under Heaven (2010) Guy Gavriel Kay With bronze as a mirror one can correct one’s appearance; with history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of a state; with good men as a mirror, one can distinguish right from wrong. —LI SHIMIN, TANG EMPEROR TAIZONG Guy Gavriel Kay’s writing is always epic, […]