Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower isn’t what I expected. I was thinking, based on nothing other than the cover design, that it was going to be a straight-up epic fantasy—you know, a band of heroes gets together and goes on a quest to save the world, that kind of thing.

And being Leckie, I figured it’d have some interesting twists to it, the kind of thing that brings a twencen genre into modernity, maybe something like Daniel Abraham’s Dagger and Coin series.

But no, it’s actually doing something altogether different. It is a fantasy, but it’s operating in a more mythic mode, with old gods and usurping princes and the like. And, like Leckie’s other books, it has an unusual narrator and is doing clever things with the narrative form.

It’s an excellent book, taking on heady themes of justice and vengeance in unexpected ways, and I fully expect to see it come up a lot when the appropriate nominations come in.


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