cover image Conservation of Shadows

Conservation of Shadows

Yoon Ha Lee. Prime (, $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-60701-387-7

Lee’s short fiction has been lauded by respected anthologists and discerning readers; this fine collection of 16 stories (one original) gives Lee’s work the chance to reach the wider audience it deserves. Of particular interest are “Ghostweight,” whose protagonist’s desire for revenge brings terrible results, and the thematically related “Effigy Nights.” These provide an interesting contrast to the moral dilemma faced by the heroine of “Swanwatch,” whose masters have placed her in a cruel game. As the author’s notes make clear, Lee draws on a wide range of inspirations, using other genre fiction and Korean history as a seeds around which to crystalize stories. Lee’s stories are often dark and tragic, and always worth the reader’s time. (May)