cover image A Sorceress Comes to Call

A Sorceress Comes to Call

T. Kingfisher. Tor, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-24407-9

With this riff on the Brothers Grimm’s “The Goose Girl,” set in a fantasy world inspired by Regency romances, Hugo Award winner Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone) continues her hot streak of deeply compassionate, thrilling, and often laugh-out-loud fairy tale retellings. Cordelia, 14, grows up in a house without closed doors. Her mother, Evangeline, is a dangerous enchantress who regularly compels her into total obedience. The first time Cordelia’s allowed some privacy is when Evangeline moves them into the home of her suitor, Squire Samuel Chatham—a home Evangeline means to seize and remake to her specifications by whatever means necessary. The Squire’s sister, Lady Hester, feels an awful presentiment of doom and is on the defensive around Evangeline, but only Cordelia knows the true, murderous extent of her mother’s powers. Can Cordelia speak up against a mother who controls her so completely? Would Hester even believe her if she did? The dual narrators—terrified fish-out-of-water Cordelia and tenaciously sensible Hester—are nuanced, distinctive, and frequently funny. Kingfisher’s remarkable skill for crafting scene-stealing secondary characters is also on full display in ruthless cardsharp Imogen Strauss, über-competent butler Willard, merry widow Penelope Green, and the mysteriously magical horse Falada. Expertly blending humor with folkloric horror, this incredibly satisfying fantasy will delight Kingfisher’s fans and newcomers alike. (Aug.)