cover image The Witch Who Came In from the Cold

The Witch Who Came In from the Cold

Lindsay Smith et al. Saga, $21.99 trade paper (624p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9685-8

Magic is real and neutrality is almost unheard of in this innovative spy thriller set in Cold War–era Prague. Two factions of covert operatives, Flame and Ice, are competing for the fate of the world via control of 36 unwitting people, known as Hosts, who are channels of elemental magic. The hefty book is divided into 13 novella-length episodes (originally serialized on the Serial Box website), each written by one or two of the five collaborating writers; the team manages an impressively cohesive effort, brilliantly conceptualized and executed. As in a TV drama, each episode has a satisfying and relatively complete arc that helps build upon an overarching story. The installments are easy to read one at a time, but the tangles of alliances, secrets, and shocking double-crosses will have readers up all night mumbling, “Just one more.” (June)