cover image Weaver’s Lament

Weaver’s Lament

Emma Newman., $14.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9411-8

Newman returns to her Industrial Magic series (Brother’s Ruin), set in an alternate Earth’s industrial revolution–era Britain, with this entertaining novella. Charlotte is a young woman who simply wants to marry a solid man and keep herself and her secret magic out of the clutches of the Royal Society. Her life is upended when her brother, Ben, asks her for an unusual sort of help: he wants her to masquerade as a common worker to help locate saboteurs in the mill he helps operate. She turns herself to the exhausting and dangerous labor, but, instead of discovering sabotage, she finds that solving the problem may force her to expose her magical talent. Charlotte makes a convincing heroine, good-hearted and empathetic, willing to tolerate abuse to help her brother, yet at the same time stoutly standing up for the workers. The story hints at a wider world and plenty of backstory without losing the reader or stopping for long explanations, making it quick and pleasant to read. Agent: Jennifer Udden, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Oct.)