cover image My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper

Tim Powers. Baen, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982192-86-0

World Fantasy Award winner Powers (On Stranger Tides) returns with an impressive mash-up of literary biography and werewolf lore. The Brontë sisters—Emily, Anne, and Catherine—tend to their aging father and wayward brother, Branwell, while trying to make their mark with poems and novels. Their family is haunted, however, by a generation-spanning curse that takes the form of the ghost of a small homeless boy called Welsh. Welsh tempts Branwell into an unwise bargain that offers him protection from other ghosts, but opens up the Brontës to threats from a clan of werewolves out to control England. Armed with courage and imagination, the sisters resist, finding an ally in a one-eyed French Catholic agent of the Huberti, alleged scourge of lycanthropes. Powers gleefully plays with the Brontë family history, tying them to Roman goddesses and ancient cyclopes, and intersperses snippets of their early writing throughout (the major works get only minor nods). Through all the supernatural drama, the shifting family dynamic remains the heart of the story and their domestic travails prove just as harrowing as any paranormal showdown. The result is a treat for Powers’s fans and Brontë lovers alike. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Sept.)