cover image The Olympian Affair

The Olympian Affair

Jim Butcher. Ace, $30 (624p) ISBN 978-0-451-46682-2

After a lengthy hiatus, bestseller Butcher returns to his Cinder Spires series with an explosive second installment (following 2015’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass), again starring aeronaut Capt. Francis Madison Grimm. In a world grown uninhabitable, humanity resides in several autonomous spires rising above the planet’s surface. Now war is brewing between Grimm’s home, Spire Albion, and Spire Aurora. The story opens with Grimm and the crew of Predator on a mission to a colony spire—only to discover that the human colony has been wiped out and in its place is a colony of kittens. These sentient felines make an agreement to reveal what awesome force destroyed the colony in return for a new home for their clan. From there, one plot thread follows Spirearch Guard Commander Benedict and Sgt. Bridget Tagwynn on a mission to secure territory from another cat chieftain. Meanwhile, the Predator accompanies a diplomatic mission to a trade conference on Spire Olympia. Spire Aurora has sent the duelist Rafe Valesco as part of its delegation, and Grimm has been assigned to keep his combative friend, Commodore Bayard, from dying on Valesco’s sword. Conflict and etherialist magic soon escalate, and Butcher tops everything off with a dash of romance and plenty of steampunk airship combat. Fans will find this is worth the wait. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)