cover image Chapel of Ease

Chapel of Ease

Alex Bledsoe. Tor, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7656-5

Bledsoe’s fourth Tufa novel (following 2014’s Long Black Curl) weaves together the magic of off-Broadway theater with the lore and fantasy of the Tufa, Appalachia-dwelling exiles from the land of Faerie. Actor and dancer Matt Johanssen is picked to be part of Chapel of Ease, a musical written and composed by Ray Parrish, one of the Tufa, and inspired by his people’s history. When Ray abruptly dies before the show’s opening night, Matt volunteers to take his ashes home to Needsville, Tenn. There, he discovers many of the Tufa’s secrets, but one still eludes him: the true nature of what lies buried under the Chapel of Ease, an unexplained element of the musical that has frustrated cast and crew alike for months. As Matt risks life and limb to satisfy curiosity, he develops an unexpected rapport with Ray’s friends and family, and an attraction to the handsome Cyrus “C.C.” Crow. With his subtle, character-driven approach, Bledsoe skillfully fuses music, legend, and regional atmosphere to create something that feels like an unexplored corner of American mythology. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Sept.)