Review: Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters by Aimee Ogden



Gene-edited human clans have scattered throughout the galaxy, adapting themselves to environments as severe as the desert and the sea. Atuale, the daughter of a Sea-Clan lord, sparked a war by choosing her land-dwelling love and rejecting her place among her people. Now her husband and his clan are dying of an incurable plague, and Atuale’s sole hope for finding a cure is to travel off-planet. The one person she can turn to for help is the black-market mercenary known as the World Witch—and Atuale’s former lover. Time, politics, bureaucracy, and her own conflicted desires stand between Atuale and the hope for her adopted clan.

“Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters” was a quiet, queer, and unexpected little thing that affected me like the gentle stroke of a callused palm, and I wanted to lean into it and let it stroke me forever. I consumed this novella in one setting, letting the author’s voice lull me into a half-dream, muffling the world around me into silence, and melting all my troubles like darkness at sunrise. I really hope the author writes more in this world, because I already yearn to return back to it.

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Review: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

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Ancillary Justice meets Red, White & Royal Blue in Everina Maxwell’s exciting debut.

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

There is truly nothing the restive embrace of a good story cannot fix.

I had the opportunity to read an early copy of Winter’s Orbit a few weeks ago, while caught in the dreary throes of finals and deadlines, and the story was like a rope thrown into a churning sea, mooring me to some semblance of sanity. Those moments when I would step outside myself, and step inside the story were the only moments my mind shut off its rigor, and everything in me settled like silt. I yearned for the escape I knew the story would bring, and for the space of a few hundred pages, I felt weightless, like all the trouble in the world had lifted from my shoulders.

Ironically, trouble finds our characters from the outset of the novel, and quickly begins to pile up like mountains on their shoulders.

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