Inclusiveness is the name of the game in this column’s fantasy novels. As Michael Scott once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” The last few months have seen the publication of some unique fantasy romances which embrace this ideal; they encompass a wide range of people, places and dreams.
This is the litany of the people of Earth. Before the first, there was blackness, and there was fire. The Earth cooled and life arose, struggling against the unremembering emptiness. First were the five-winged eldermost of Earth, faces of the Yith . . . sixth are humans, the wildest of races, who share the world in three parts. The people of the rock, the K’n-yan, build first and most beautifully, but grow cruel and frightened and become the Mad Ones Under the Earth. The people of the air spread far and breed freely, and build the foundation for those who will supplant them. The people of the water are born in shadow on land, but what they build beneath the wave will live in glory till the dying sun burns away their last shelter.
Aphra Marsh is part of “the people of the water.” Her folk have been hunted and all but obliterated by the people of the air but she has found friends and family in San Francisco who overlook her peculiarity and support her. Most especially Charlie Dav, book store owner and a student of the occult. Together Charlie and Aphra are attempting to rework the ancient magics of her people. But what will they find along the way?
Trouble! An unusual story with love of family and friends woven throughout it this book examines what it means to be human in a world where people are persecuted for being the least bit different. From the Japanese internment camps of WWII to the hunt for alien others in the following years, this story is an emotional look at how it feels to be a stranger in your own land.