cover image Something Rich and Strange

Something Rich and Strange

Patricia A. McKillip. Spectra Books, $19.95 (205pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09674-3

The second novel in Brian Froud's Faerielands series lives up to its subtitle (taken from The Tempest). Megan, a dreamy young artist, resides in a Pacific Northwest coastal village with her pragmatic lover, Jonah, who runs a curio shop. When Megan's drawings of the ocean and its tidal pools begin to take on a life of their own, acquiring such elements as a sea hare that she does not remember executing, she seeks to understand the meaning of these changes. As if in response, Adam Fin, a mysterious artist whose medium is jewelry, arrives in the community. Meagan is drawn to Fin, but Jonah mistrusts him and, for his part, begins to obsess about another mystery, that of a woman singer he hears in a local pub and later encounters as a mermaid in a sea cave. Though warned by a local eccentric, Megan and Jonah pursue their obsessions, with their distinct ties to the sea, until Jonah is lured away and Megan must pay a price to find him. McKillip (The Cygnet and the Firebird) weaves a potent tale, which was inspired by the somewhat frenzied drawings provided by award-winning fantasy illustrator Froud. (Oct.)