The Marten and the Scorpion

Robin Shortt. Candlemark & Gleam, $20.45 (272p) ISBN 978-1-936460-90-8
Shortt (Wellside) plunges readers into the underbelly of medieval Samarkand in this beguiling fantasy. Talented orphan pickpocket Darya has spent all her life in Samarkand, the boundaries of her world extending only as far as the source of her next meal. Just as it’s becoming clear that Darya’s advancing age and developing figure will soon end her time with the Martens, the gang to which she belongs, the group is forcibly commandeered by Crow, a mysterious outsider in search of a strange and dangerous box. When the quest leads Darya to the wandering Chinese adventurers Yu Hao and Red, they agree to teach her martial arts in exchange for information about the box. Befriending the pair brings Darya into a much larger and richer world—one of ancient arts, warring clans, and perhaps even the means to a stable and happy future. But in order to pursue that possibility, she would have to betray the Martens, and Crow is a terrifying enemy. Clever, tightly written, and full of action, this thrilling novel is an epic wuxia film wrought in paper and ink. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/12/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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