Recently I’ve been burning through all of Julie Czerneda’s science fiction again. I enjoyed her stories set in the Trade Pact universe when they first came out and when I saw A Thousand Words for Stranger recently at the library I started reading them all again. My favorite trilogy is the Web Shifter series and unfortunately my library doesn’t have the last one, Hidden in Sight, but the librarian has promised to add the series to the next ebook order, so I’m being patient.
While being patient I noticed that after a five year break she’s started writing again. The Night’s Edge series starts with A Turn of Light and continues with A Play of Shadow, and this series is purely fantasy.
In your basic medieval fantasy realm a number of refugees from the last political purge have found a home in a small valley in the far north. The valley of Marrowdell is surprisingly accommodating, there are homes there left over from the last settlers, who never felt comfortable and eventually left. The wells never freeze over, even in the harshest winters (which are never that harsh), there are lots of eggs, though no hens, and the crops are still growing in the fields – in fact it’s best to leave them be until harvest time if you value your life.
So, it’s not a normal valley, but those who aren’t driven out by bad dreams learn to live with it’s idiosyncrasies. Jenn Nalynn has grown up there relatively happily, but in A Turn of Light she dreams of the day she reaches 18 and becomes an adult. Marrowdell is nice, but boring and she wants to travel and see the world. As it turns out that’s basically the one thing she can’t do.
In A Play of Shadow Jenn and Bannan Larmensu learn that his sister and brother-in-law are in danger in the kingdom of Mellynne. As it turns out, Channen, the capital of Mellynne, is in the Edge as well, and Jenn can travel through the Verge to other spots in the Edge. Leaving his nephews in the uncertain care of Wisp and Scourge, the two head off on a rescue mission to Channen.
Well written fantasy. I still think the concept of Esen, in the Trade Pact universe, is awesome, but if you’re more a fan of fantasy than science fiction then you will certainly enjoy these stories.