cover image Wasteland King

Wasteland King

Lilith Saintcrow. Orbit, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-27791-4

Saintcrow brings her Gallow and Ragged trilogy to a close with a lovingly written but choppy conclusion. The Summer Queen and the lord of the Unseelie, Unwinter, seem determined to go to war, and signs of the sidhe plague are still evident. Jeremiah Gallow, Summer's former armormaster, and Robin Ragged, along with her hound, Pepperbuckle, are caught in the middle, and they've been tasked by Unwinter with two separate, but very difficult missions. The Sluagh, an army of the undead, has been unleashed, and Gallow and his unlikely allies will need every tool at their disposal to survive. Saintcrow's gift for lyrical writing is on full display and her highly stylized prose is frequently stunning, probing the dark, damp corners of California's urban landscapes, often finding beauty where, at first glance, there seems to be only squalor. Unfortunately, the narrative reads more like a series of vignettes than a fully cohesive whole, but fans will likely be satisfied with a poignant ending that has its eye firmly on the light at the end of the tunnel, placing hope within reach of even the most desperate and downtrodden. (June)