The first thing you should know about Pratchett’s latest book is that it’s one of his rare stories not set in Discworld. That might make Dodger a good book to start with if you’ve been wanting to try him out, but all I’ve read about it assures me that it will satisfy his most devoted fans, as well. It is a fantasy filled with magic and Fantastic creatures, but it is also set in an alternate Victorian era, so an understanding of that period and the literature it’s known for will help you enjoy the clever commentary Pratchett’s known for.
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he’s… Dodger.
Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl—not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.
From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.
From the reader community:
• “Terry Pratchett is back in top form here, with his usual scathing take on politics, news reporting, the police force, and life on the bottom and top rungs of society. He gives us a hero that we fall in love with, root for, and applaud as he solves the mystery, and finds out a lot about himself along the way.” ~Jeannette (Goodreads)
• “As with all Pratchett’s writing the book should be judged on the quality of the language. He excels himself, using the street slang of the time, giving the book a Dickensian feel but retaining a Pratchett style. All his real life characters respond to the author’s direction without a murmur, allowing the plot to proceed at pace.” ~Huw (Goodreads)
Enjoy an excerpt of Dodger on Terry Pratchett’s website. Order a copy from these popular booksellers:
Juliet Marillier waited so long between Books Three and Four of the Sevenwaters series (about eight years) that it was long considered a trilogy. She surprised and delighted fans by releasing Book Four in 2008, Book Five two years later, and now Book Six two years after that:
Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years she’s returning home as a courageous, forthright woman with a special gift for taming difficult animals. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile, as she fears the shadows of her past.
Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara has become desperate to see his only son, who is married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish.
When Maeve finds one of the missing travelers murdered in the woods, she and her brother Finbar embark on a journey that may bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign — or lead to a hideous death. But if she is successful, Maeve may open a door to a future she has not dared to believe possible…
The good news is that there is no sign that the series ends here. Here’s hoping we can expect Book Seven in another two years! In the meantime…
From the reader community:
It’s too soon for any reviews of Flames of Sevenwaters itself, so we’re sharing reviews from Daughter of the Forest, Book One of the Sevenwaters series, instead.
• “Marillier stays pretty close to the source material, the Celtic myth, The Wild Swans. She enhances it with a beautiful love story, realistic historical background, admirable characters, skillful infusion of ancient magic, stories of dedicated friendships and unyielding sibling devotion, and a couple of utterly despicable villains. There are not many flaws to this wonderfully written book.” ~Laura (Goodreads)
• “This is a beautiful book of well-loved stories, and Pullman’s own writing makes it worthwhile to anyone who is interested in folklore, storytelling, and the sources of our common narrative standards.” ~Audrey (Goodreads)
Don’t miss this: Juliet Marillier is giving away a copy of Flame of Sevenwaters on Goodreads, now through November 11. Enter to win!
This title is both classic and new. Originally released in 1975, it’s been given lovely new cover art, but the story, co-authored by George R. R. Martin some twenty years before he began Game of Thrones, is unchanged:
Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip, songs, and stories to a waiting populace. Maris of Amberly, a fisherman’s daughter, wants nothing more than to soar on the currents high above Windhaven. So she challenges tradition, demanding that flyers be chosen by merit rather than inheritance. But even after winning that bitter battle, Maris finds that her troubles are only beginning. Now a revolution threatens to destroy the world she fought so hard to join—and force her to make the ultimate sacrifice.
From the reader community:
• “Here is Martin’s forte: in explaining the various motivations, he brings the characters to life and makes it easy to identify with this world, totally alien as it may be. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the strange is so well done as to be almost seamless. The end too is inspired.” ~David (Amazon)
• “I was pleased to find this book so original and enchanting. George Martin and Lisa Tuttle know the secret to good fantasy is the magic of characters. The flights across Windhaven are fantastic through Maris’s eyes and a reader wishing to experience an excellent story should read “Windhaven,” and see through Maris’s eyes like I have.” ~Darryl (Amazon)
Which Fantastic New, Soon, and Classic books are you excited about?