cover image Saints of Storm and Sorrow

Saints of Storm and Sorrow

Gabriella Buba. Titan, $17.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-80336-780-4

Buba debuts with an intricate fantasy, inspired by Philippine history and mythology, about a bisexual woman who hides her goddess-given power to channel storms behind the walls of a convent. When Lunurin was 15, she impulsively promised her life to Anitun Tabu, the Aynilan goddess of storms and sky, in exchange for destroying the Codicían, Aynila’s colonizers. After she inadvertently called a storm down on her own village, however, Lunurin was sent away and has lived the past 10 years as a nun, playacting devotion to the Codicían religion while desperately ignoring the call of her goddess. Though she tries to make a peaceful life for herself with her lover, Catalina, who fears and rejects Lunurin’s powers, she can no longer stand aside as the colonizers steal ever more of the Aynilan people’s identity and their very lives. Meanwhile, her growing attraction to Alon, a childhood friend with whom she enters into a political marriage, frays the edges of her barely held control. As Lunurin learns to embrace her true self and her powers, very little of life as she knows it will remain standing. Buba crafts strong characters but bogs down their development in extensive detail about Aynila’s infrastructure. The resulting worldbuilding is impressive, but somewhat challenging to sift through. Still, readers who like their folklore with plenty of politics will find their fix with this one. (June)