cover image The Shape of Desire

The Shape of Desire

Sharon Shinn. Ace, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-937007-17-1

Loving a shape-shifter requires a life full of lies in this touching domestic fantasy by Shinn (Troubled Waters). Maria has known, and kept, her lover’s secret since they were in college together. Dante is only human a few days a month, and he cannot control when he shifts or what he shifts into. Maria has lied about him to her family and friends for almost half of her life. But when Maria suspects that a shape-shifter is behind recent murders in local parks, she begins to fear that, whether or not Dante is innocent, their lives will irrevocably change. The tale of their relationship meanders like a stream, with strong characterizations and poetic prose polishing the story until it shines. Shinn’s frequent comparisons of humans and animals are subtle, quietly building the question of whether the true monsters are those who change shape or humans with the capacity to hurt those they love. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. (Apr.)