Author: Sharon Lee
Publication: Baen (February 4, 2014)
Description: The long-awaited sequel to Carousel Tides, enchanting contemporary fantasy by Sharon Lee, award-winning co-creator of the popular Liaden Universe® saga. When magic meets mundane, sparks fly: these are exciting times in Archers Beach, Maine! A unprecedented Early Season has united townies and carnies in an effort to expand into a twelve-month resort, recapturing the town's former glory.
Kate Archer, owner-operator of the vintage wooden carousel, is caught up in the excitement—and is quite possibly the cause of it. Because Kate leads a double life, as carny, and as Guardian of the land. Her recent return to the home she had forsaken has changed the town's luck—for the better—and energized the trenvay—earth and water spirits who are as much citizens of the Beach as their mundane counterparts.
But the town's new energy isn't the only change afoot. Joe Nemeier, the local drug lord, whose previous magical consultant was vanquished by Kate, has acquired a new ally—and this one plays with fire.
My Thoughts: Kate Archer is back home in Archer's Beach, Maine, and running the family carousel. She is also the guardian of the land and the carousel acts as a prison for being sent their by the Wise. As a guardian of the land her presence can lead to prosperity for the area. In fact, those others who are involved in the local amusement park are eager to expand their season from twelve weeks to year round. Kate gets involved some committee work to encourage that to happen.
Of course, she is also still trying to defeat the local drug lord Joe Nemeier who hasn't hesitated to import wizards from elsewhere in the Six Worlds to help him succeed in his enterprises. Kate temporarily defeated him in the first book in this series but the problem of Joe and his henchmen still weighs on Kate. He wants to take over the forest that is the safe place for her grandmother and mother who need the land for survival and healing.
Kate is also dealing with her relationship with Borgan who is the guardian of the sea around Archer's Beach. He was hurt at the end of the first book but Kate manages to rescue him from those who hoped to take over for him while he was weak. They spend a lot of this story figuring out what their new relationship was going to be.
I loved the way Lee wove the world we know with a fantasy world filled with magic and magical characters. I also loved the language of this story and Kate's very Maine-ish powers of understatement. Kate is a very engaging main character.
I recommend this story for lovers of contemporary fantasy. You won't want to miss the first book in this series - Carousel Tides - either.
Spellcraft lessons aren't easy for me. I'm not one of those crime-fighting, half-fey princesses found in urban fantasy novels, who revel in their powers, and need no lessons in their use, or in control.I got this eARC from Baen Books via Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.
By contrast, I'm only one-quarter-fey, my power will turn on and eat me if I'm not constantly vigilant, and I'm much better at hacking than spellcraft.
All that said, I'm not a mundane person, either; I was born with the ability, however small, to hold jikinap and bend it to my will, and I'm not, despite what you might think by looking at the evidence, a complete idiot.