cover image The Shadow Saint

The Shadow Saint

Gareth Hanrahan. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-0-316-52535-0

The epic, surreal second volume in Hanrahan’s Black Iron Legacy series (following The Gutter Prayer) mixes diplomacy, espionage, and religion to excellent effect. The politically neutral city of Guerdon serves as a refuge for odd saints and unclassifiable magical creatures during a raging war between unhinged deities. Terevant Erevesic, a lieutenant newly posted to Guerdon as guard captain at the embassy, is tasked with securing Guerdon’s god bombs, weapons powerful enough to level the field in the ongoing Godswar. Meanwhile, political operative Eladora Duttin works to drum up votes for the Industrial Liberal party in the upcoming parliamentary election in a new neighborhood formed during a recent alchemical disaster known as the Crisis. Through these various political machinations moves “the spy,” an unnamed man who has assumed the identity of Alic Nemon, a refugee from the Godswar and “father” to Emlin, a young saint. Hanrahan crafts a mind-blowingly complex world governed by capricious deities who actively alter reality. Series fans and new readers alike will delight entering this strange, immersive universe. Agent: John Jarrod, John Jarrod Literacy Agency. (Jan.)