The Silk Map

Chris Willrich. Pyr, $15.95 trade paper (450p) ISBN 978-1-61614-899-7

This rich sequel to The Scroll of Years finds intrepid thief Imago Bone and poet Persimmon Gaunt teaming up with wily bandit Snow Pine to rescue their children, lost in a secret pocket dimension that’s been hidden within the magical Scroll of Years. Striking a bargain with a monkey goddess called the Great Sage, the trio sets off on an epic search for the rare caterpillars that are the source of tough ironsilk. Along the way, they will face amazing challenges: battling mummies and invisible warriors, contending with haunted cities, encountering rivals aboard a hot air balloon. Despite some dense writing, this Chinese-inflected fantasy adventure romps along at a madcap pace, with frequent detours to include the thoughts of peripheral characters including an overcoat and a magic carpet. This lighthearted story is suitable for teen readers as well as adults. (May)