I read this when I was pretty young and it stuck in my mind for years: it's a fun world, a kind of Medieval setting where religion is a choice between Order and Chaos, in landscapes governed over by terrifying storms and strange elemental creatures. The main character can talk to cats and she really wants to go to the school for magic teenagers her parents met at. It's a huge menacing castle over an abyss: this isn't a kid who's scared of the unknown.
I was SO EXCITED when I opened this. A lesbian separatist cyberpunk matriarchy in an ice city? Yes please and lots of it. The setting is incredibly evocative: Williams draws together canals, grand old houses, ritual towers, a wonderfully rusty "haunt-tech" magic/technology paradigm and credible family dramas. And more and more wonderful things kept piling on... the problem was they didn't stop!
This book is fucking brilliant, find and read it immediately.
The first scene includes this passage:
"Dreams-of-War was hunting the remnants of men on the slopes of the Martian Olympus when she came across the herd of ghosts."
That's it. If you like that sentence you'll love this book. If not, this book - and perhaps Liz Williams as a whole - aren't for you!
The UK cover is the symbol for an RSS feed drawn in a bloodstain. What more could you want? But, no, seriously this is probably my favourite book about zombies: it made me laugh a lot and made me cry in public, and I don't think anyone else's zombie story has ever managed to make me do both those things.
One of the most important works of lesbian science/speculative fiction from the heyday of lesbian feminism.
I absolutely adore this book. I bought it on the basis of the cover - I didn't know what a 419 scam was or the significance of the sloth, but the snapshots of a strange world drawn in the letters of the title seemed like something I wanted to hear more about. The first page was a crisp, precise description of sunlight in a broken-down room: the kind of writing that makes you trust an author to tell her story clearly and well.
... But with a very down-to-earth protagonist. The Paksenarrion of the title is a kid who leaves home to start a second life as a soldier, and the book reminded me a bit of the Tamora Pierce books about lady knights - there's that commitment to showing the character's whole journey, training and physical labour and pivotal moments of learning and all.