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The Strangeling
Saskia Walker

Juno 176pp ISBN: 978-0-0895-5793-6

A fantasy novel by our very own Saskia Walker (interviewed last issue) and sporting an absolutely delightfully evocative front cover which can be seen emblazoning our front cover this issue, courtesy of its talented creator, Timothy Lantz. Saskia is perhaps best known as a writer of erotic romance, and whilst this novel is more deeply rooted in the fantasy genre then some of her work, it is still a passionate beast under the skin of its fantasy world. It was refreshing to read characters that actually had a sex life and essentially acted upon it as often as the plot would allow! That said, the erotic elements of the novel did begin to intrude for me into a plot that at time felt far too thinly realised, leaving the reader gasping for more meat and less long searching looks between the main characters, Maerose and Bron. Several aspects of the narrative background didn’t sit well with me - a clearly fantasy setting had references to real world pagan festivals, whilst the sense of time was confusing at times.
Essentially the novel traces the desperate race to avert an army of darkness destroying the local area, with an act of love that only our heroes can provide. Throw into the mix the darkly desirable Veldor and some magic and you have a tale that fairly races along to its pulsating climax! A great, well paced read, but let down in places by a plot that is second to the desire of the characters.

Review by Jamie Spracklen

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