cover image The Year of Ancient Ghosts

The Year of Ancient Ghosts

Kim Wilkins. Ticonderoga (, $13.99 trade paper (266p) ISBN 978-1-921857-46-1

Aurealis-winner Wilkins (Giants of the Frost) compiles five novellas (three reprinted, two original) in this strong collection. Wilkins adds fantastic elements to her depiction of ages past and present, but rather than relying on standard fantasy tropes, her stories are informed by detailed research into the periods in question. She clearly has an affection for the Middle Ages that does not blind her to the realities; the resulting stories often highlight the unpleasant elements of that period without reveling in them. Of particular interest are “Wild Dreams of Blood,” set in the present but informed by Norse legend, and “Dindrana’s Lover,” whose protagonist, constrained by rigid social hierarchies and spiteful religious fervor, struggles to find a victory in a no-win situation. Also included are a well-intended but unflattering introduction by Kate Forsyth and an afterword by the author. (June)