cover image Beasts of Tabat

Beasts of Tabat

Cat Rambo. WordFire (, $15.99 trade paper (326p) ISBN 978-1-61475-298-1

In this fantasy series opener, Rambo (Near + Far) introduces a fascinating world of magic, intrigue, and revolution. When young Teo's parents trade him to the temple in Tabat in exchange for magical healing for their ailing daughter, Teo is far from happy. Fortunately Tabat is also home to his hero, the mighty gladiator Bella Kanto, Winter's warrior, who has fought a yearly match with Spring to determine when the seasons change. Bella has won for the past 20 years, and Tabat's citizens are sick of long winters. Additional tension roils over the rights of Beasts (intelligent and semi-intelligent magical creatures such as fairies, minotaurs, gryphons, and centaurs) and an upcoming election. As various factions vie for control, Bella and Teo are caught in the middle of the simmering rebellion. Although the story, dense with details and backstory, moves slowly and ends on an unsatisfying cliffhanger, the host of colorful characters and conflicting motives offer a promising start to a distinctive fantasy series. (Feb.)