cover image Outcast


Kim Vandervort. Hadley Rille (Ingram, dist.), $16 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-0-9892631-1-5

Years after the bloody Purge that ended with the king slain, his heir missing, and the land firmly in the control of the Caretakers, Skerth and other street children struggle to survive at the bottom of the social pyramid of Erados. When street kids Skerth’s age begin to be murdered, it is clear indifference has changed to overt hostility; more worrisome is the fact that the assassin has a profile for his victims and Skerth fits it. He must discover the secret behind the assassin’s campaign of death or die himself. Vandervort’s debut plays with familiar ideas: the poor boy with a special destiny struggling against illegitimate usurpers against a backdrop of secrets, revelations, corruption and heroics. While Vandervort subverts some of the familiar tropes, she seems far more comfortable when she is embracing them. The novel is best read as a variation on a familiar tale, a new cover of an ancient song. (Sept.)