cover image A Tale of Truths

A Tale of Truths

Berit Ellingsen. Rosarium, $14.95 trade paper (162p) ISBN 978-1-73263-882-2

This ethereal, if half-baked, fantasy from Ellingsen (Now We Can See the Moon) follows a nameless elf as he helps a thief turned scholar and her apprentice codify their theory about their planet orbiting a star. In a process that is not fully explained, the elf forges himself out of nothing on a remote island, coming into being all at once. Together with a feline companion, he travels to Canal, where he meets fugitive scientist Dame Logan and her granddaughter, Alexandra, at a science fair. He becomes fascinated with their project and escorts them to Spiral, a vertically built city divided along class lines, to present their hypothesis. They successfully secure an audience of scholars, but the city’s guards soon catch wind that Dame Logan is among them and order their arrest. A fire aids the trio in evading capture and they seek refuge on the top level of Spiral, where the nobility lives, and uncover the city’s buried secrets. Though the intricacies of Spiral’s society are tantalizingly hinted at, they go underexplored. Readers expecting a fully realized world will be disappointed by the vagaries of this fanciful but meandering tale. (Apr.)