cover image Updraft


Fran Wilde. Tor, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7783-8

Extraordinary worldbuilding and cascading levels of intrigue make Wilde’s debut fantasy novel soar. Kirit Densira has no greater wish than to become a trader like her mother, bargaining for exotic goods and flying through their unnamed city of spires on silken wings. But when she illegally leaves shelter during an attack by the monstrous skymouths, Kirit reveals a rare ability and finds herself under pressure from the mysterious Singers, who rule the city from the Spire at its center: she must join them, or she—and her loved ones—will be punished. With nowhere else to turn, Kirit eventually accepts her new place among the Singers, where she will learn the best-kept secrets of her beloved city and the lies that are told in the name of peace. The beginning is languid, but once Kirit takes the plunge and begins to unravel the stories of the Singers, readers will be riveted. The setting is marvelously unusual, a city grown from living bone and populated by everyday people who have left the ground far behind; though Wilde leaves many questions unanswered, this only adds to the mystery and delight, encouraging the reader to suspend disbelief and become immersed in Kirit’s story. This well-written and fascinating exploration of a strange land is an extremely promising start for an exciting new writer. Agent: Rachel Kory, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Sept.)