An Accident of Stars

Foz Meadows. Angry Robot, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-585-0
Meadows’s gloriously dramatic and intricately detailed first novel for adults features a trio of young women in a fascinating fantasy setting. A strange Englishwoman named Gwen Vere defends Australian teen Saffron Coulter from a bully and then steps through a portal between Sydney and the magical realm of Kena. Saffron follows but becomes separated from Gwen upon entering the city of Karavos, where Saffron’s light skin marks her as a foreigner. Saffron is seized by the city’s senior female ruler, Vex’Mara Kadeja, and then rescued by Zechalia, a girl even younger than she. Shortly thereafter, the junior female ruler, Cuivexa Iviyat, escapes the palace of Kadeja and senior male ruler Vex Leoden. Exiles from another land, Leoden’s supposedly murdered rival, and mysterious holy storytellers all have roles to play in the gradually unfolding story, but Saffron, Zechalia, and Iviyat—three brave, uncertain, determined girls—are the ones who will ultimately determine the fate of the realm. Meadows (Solace and Grief) imagines several rich and unusual cultures for her characters to move within and leaves the door open for sequels. Fantasy readers who appreciate strong characters and excellent worldbuilding will immerse themselves in this tale. Agent: Jennie Goloboy, Red Sofa Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 08/02/2016
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