cover image Seasonal Fears

Seasonal Fears

Seanan McGuire. Tordotcom, $29.99 (496p) ISBN 978-1-250-76826-1

McGuire’s intricate, dense companion to 2020’s Middlegame delves ever deeper into the hidden alchemical history of her world, populating it with incarnate concepts and sinister agendas. Teen Harry March has been madly devoted to his girlfriend, Melanie Cosgrove, for as long as he can remember, though her heart condition means she likely won’t live long enough to have a future with him. Indeed, she dies during a high school football game—and promptly reanimates, her death just the start of a strange new adventure. A young woman named Jack Frost explains that Melanie and Harry are now candidates for the thrones of Winter and Summer respectively, the concept of seasons incarnated. To claim their mantles, they must travel cross-country to prove their worthiness in a magical trial, while battling their rival candidates, often to the death, along the way. Succeed and they stay together; fail and they both perish. As they master their seasonal affinities, they uncover secrets that have shaped their lives and influenced their destinies. However complicated the premise and worldbuilding may be, it’s all held together by Harry and Melanie’s unwavering partnership, and the strength of family, both blood and found. The result is a worthy, highly intelligent, wholly satisfying expansion of the Middlegame mythos that will leave readers wanting more. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (May)