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‘Trail of Lightning:’ Book Review

I first learned about author Rebecca Roanhorse while I was vending at WorldCon 76 last year. (She won the John W. Campbell award for Best New Writer.) I didn’t get a chance to meet her (though GRRM wandered by the table a few times); however, I did make a point to add her book to my Christmas list and was not disappointed.

An urban fantasy set after sea water has wiped out most of western civilization, the story takes places in the former Navaho lands, also known as the Dinétah. Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter who has inherited her clan’s supernatural gifts for superior speed and ability to kill.  There is a new monster terrorizing the former reservation, and all she wants is to do her job. She usually hunts alone, but Tah, an elderly man she considers to be her grandfather, insists she take on a partner—his grandson, Kir Arviso. Tah confides that Kir has “strong medicine” as part of his clan inheritance, but both men refuse to go into detail. Maggie is not thrilled about this, but goes along with it out of respect for the old man.  

This is a rich and compelling universe that Ms. Roanhorse has created. I love that it is set in a world that has been stereotyped to death and shows us characters that are flawed, obsessed, and look at the world through eyes we do not usually see.  The world building is based on Native American folklore, but do not let that intimidate you. The author makes it accessible by explaining in small bits that do not feel like exposition. The fight scenes are visceral and tight. No words are lost. There is action, potential romance, and, yes, monsters. But as in every good story, the monsters are never quite what you think they are.

If you love urban fantasy with great world building, then this is the story you have been looking for.


Creative Team: Rebecca Roanhorse (writer)
Publisher: Saga Press
Click here to purchase.


Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2019 18:09

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