cover image March’s End

March’s End

Daniel Polansky. Angry Robot, $17.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-915202-45-1

Polansky (Low Town) introduces readers to a menagerie of anthropomorphic toys, talking animals and insects, and clockwork creatures in this surprisingly grim portal fantasy. The earth-born Harrows are the ruling dynasty of the March, a secondary fantasy world that plays host to many strange creatures. When a destructive force called the End threatens to consume the March and the worlds start to bleed into each other, there may be no surviving it. Meanwhile, the Harrow family’s fraying relationships mirror this state of slow-moving catastrophe. The pressure of ruling the March wears on Queen Sophia, and the three Harrow children—Constance, Mary Ann, and John—suffer the End’s toxic effects as they each struggle to find their place in both planes. Polansky’s impressive worldbuilding shines in the extensive and vivid descriptions of the March’s myriad creatures, and the somber coming-of-age struggles each of the children go through keep the pages turning. Readers who crave a touch of whimsy in their dark family sagas will get both itches scratched by this one. Agent: Chris Lotts, Lotts Agency. (May)