cover image Roadside Magic

Roadside Magic

Lillith Saintcrow. Orbit, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-27787-7

Saintcrow’s second Gallow & Ragged urban fantasy (after Trailer Park Fae) uses lush, striking prose to disguise a slow story. The entire book is about people chasing and fleeing from one another, and most of them wind up where they started. Robin Ragged, who’s half-human and half-Sidhe, discovered the true origin of the disease plaguing the Sidhe’s Summer Court. Now she’s on the run from both the Queen of Summer and the Lord of Unwinter. After an unpleasant confrontation with conniving near-feral trickster Robin Goodfellow, she retreats. She’s pursued by her former brother-in-law, the half-Sidhe Jeremiah Gallow, who wants to protect her, and the scarred Huntsman Alastair Creen, an agent of the queen. Gallow is also being hunted by agents of Unwinter, who want the lord’s horn back. The language is gorgeously evocative (“He was no more than a bow upon an instrument’s strings, drawing back and forth to sing a cacophony of shattered bone and split flesh”), but there’s painfully little character development. Those already invested in the series may be the most intrigued. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Agency. (Feb.)