cover image Barren


Peter V. Brett. Harper Voyager, $14.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-06274-056-4

Old resentments reemerge in Tibbet’s Brook as a dangerous demon rises in Brett’s rich final novella set in the Demon Cycle fantasy universe (after The Core). Town Speaker Selia, the woman everyone calls Barren, embraced the rediscovered combat wards to protect her townspeople from vicious demons. But Tibbet’s Brook isn’t known for tolerance, and Selia’s romantic relationship with a younger woman soon puts her position in jeopardy. Jeorje, a fellow Speaker, deliberately undermined Selia’s efforts to hold the people together. Jeorje hates Selia and is more than willing to use her past to turn the Brook against her, even if it leaves them all at the mercy of demons. Selia’s valiant struggle to serve her community and carve out space for her own happiness perfectly showcases Brett’s skill at creating an immersive fantasy world. Readers will be drawn into the hearts and minds of his characters and deeply moved by the themes of acceptance and community. (Sept.)