cover image The Iron Dragon’s Mother

The Iron Dragon’s Mother

Michael Swanwick. Tor, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-19825-9

Traveling through a vast, dark faerie world, Swanwick’s gripping sequel to 1993’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter poetically tells the tale of a dragon pilot who’s running from accusations of crimes she didn’t commit. Shortly after Caitlin’s father dies and she completes her first piloting mission, Caitlin is framed for multiple crimes, including the murder of her brother—whom she believes is still alive. With the help of Helen, a woman she doesn’t know who has become a hitchhiker in her mind, she escapes to find her brother and prove her innocence. Journeying through the lands and cities of faerie, Caitlin becomes Cat, making friends who help her discover the magic items she needs and important truths about herself. Changeling women are used as breeders for fae men, fae women are second-class citizens, and all the half-human pilots are persecuted for not remaining virgins—Cat’s fellow female pilots viciously attack her before others accuse them in turn—but Cat and the strong women she befriends seem designed to disprove the sexist assumptions that underpin faerie culture. This epic is full of carefully crafted lands, characters, and creatures, and readers will savor each page. (June)