cover image Midwinter


Matthew Sturges, . . Pyr, $15.98 (345pp) ISBN 978-1-59102-734-8

Comic book writer Sturges (Jack of Fables ) makes an impressive debut with this superb low fantasy. During the titular cold season, the imprisoned soldier Mauritane is offered the opportunity to earn his freedom if he undertakes a risky mission for Seelie Queen Titania. Mauritane brings along a motley crew from the prison, including a gorgeous foreign warrior elf, a disgraced guard and a human scientist trapped in their world. Their Dirty Dozen–style exploits are interwoven with political intrigues at both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Sturges deftly works in superb character development, solid action sequences and engaging heroes and villains, as well as an original and fascinating mythological backbone for the Fae world. Although there is certainly room for the planned sequel, this tale stands nicely on its own. (Mar.)