cover image All the Hidden Paths

All the Hidden Paths

Foz Meadows. Tor, $29.99 (528p) ISBN 978-1-250-82930-6

Meadows’s masterful follow-up to A Strange and Stubborn Endurance skillfully combines elements of fantasy, romance, and political thriller in a complex queernorm world. Aristocrats Caethari “Cae” Aeduria and Velasin “Vel” Vin Aaro, having foiled the plot against them, settle into their fledgling marriage, with both men still carrying trauma and grief from their recent pasts. As the pair learn to communicate with each other and Vel discovers the freedom and fear of being open about his sexuality, a series of suspicious accidents and attacks—culminating in an assassination attempt in the heart of Tithena’s capital—puts the strength of their new bond to the test. In Meadows’s own words, “this is a book about what happens after you come out,” and the author does an impressive job of demonstrating that the path to happiness and self-acceptance does not end there. The result is just as pacy and self-assured as the series opener while also embracing the opportunity for a deeper exploration of the sexual politics in this fantasy world. Speaking thoughtfully to real-life questions of identity, and the vulnerability that goes along with visibility, this fantasy adventure wows. (Dec.)