cover image Burning Roses

Burning Roses

S.L. Huang., $21.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-25076-399-0

Huang (Critical Point) dazzles in this dark, diverse fairy tale remix. Riflewoman Rosa, a riff on Red Riding Hood, and Hou Yi, a mythological Chinese archer, embark on a quest to defeat Hou Yi’s former apprentice, Feng Ming, who’s using firebirds to blaze a trail of destruction through the countryside. As they pursue Feng Ming, Rosa opens up to Hou Yi about her unhealthy friendship with scam artist Goldie (of three bears fame) and marriage to Mei, a foreign beauty who was imprisoned by a prince-turned-beast. She also tells of her desperate flight East to escape the king’s men when her past as a hunter of grundwirgen, wolf-like animals with human intelligence, made her an outlaw. Rosa’s emotional journey as she unlearns her bigotry against the grundwirgen is fascinating and well rendered. Meanwhile, Hou Yi, whose desperate drive for immortality fractured her family, is offered a chance to rebuild when her past catches up with her. The quest to stop Feng Ming, and Rosa and Hou Yi’s parallel stories of reconciliation with the families they lost in their adventures are expertly woven, giving this slim volume an epic feel. Fantasy fans won’t want to miss this. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh. (Sept.)