cover image Spear


Nicola Griffith. Tordotcom, $19.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-250-81932-1

This fresh, emotionally immediate queer spin on the Medieval tale of Percival and the Holy Grail reaffirms Griffith (So Lucky) as a consummate storyteller. Peretur, raised in a cave by her mother, grows up desperate to see the outside world. As her strength and magical ability grow, so too does her ambition, and she soon makes her way to the court of King Artos disguised as a young man. There, in classic Arthurian style, Peretur faces a battery of tests and challenges—embarking on quests, stealing the hearts of maidens, and butting heads with various members of the court. Before long, her untrained magic makes her a target, and she must return home to face her greatest challenge yet. Steeped in period texture that brings remote history fully into the present, and lushly illustrated by Rovina Cai (The Seventh Raven), this tale of destiny, belonging, and home is a genuine pleasure. With a gender-swapped protagonist and purposeful representation of people of color and people with disabilities, this is an ideal pick for fans of retold legends, as well as those looking for diverse fantasy. Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Susanna Lea Assoc. (Apr.)