cover image The Nameless Witch

The Nameless Witch

A. Lee Martinez, . . Tor, $24.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-765-31548-9

Martinez's disappointing third comic fantasy stars a beautiful heroine who's cursed with immortality and an appetite for human flesh that complicates her love life. Rescued and mentored by an old witch nicknamed Ghastly Edna, the witch of the title comes into her own after being locked in the basement until she is 18 (on account of being freakishly "undead"). After Edna's demise, the Nameless Witch sets off to avenge her death, with some help from her familiar, Newt, who takes the form of a wisecracking killer duck, and a benevolent troll called Gwurm. They settle in at Fort Stalwart, where they're joined by the handsome White Knight and menaced by goblings sent by the sorcerer Soulless Gustav. The White Knight wins the witch's heart, but he can't rescue this quest spoof, which lacks the marvelous effervescence that buoyed Martinez's debut, Gil's All Fright Diner . (May)