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This is a short piece within de Bodard’s “Dominion of the Fallen” world, falling hard on the heels of The House of Shattered Wings and I believe introducing us to a key character who will feature in The House of Binding Thorns. It goes beyond character study, giving us a tightly packaged perilous adventure (perilous from several directions) featuring not only the harsh cut-throat politics of the various Fallen houses, but the lingering hazards of the magical cataclysm that destroyed Paris--hazards that have no respect for house loyalty.

A historic fantasy featuring an ensemble of fascinating female characters--the "daughters" (in various senses) of various classics horror fiction protagonists. This is the sort of book that often leaps to the top of my to-be-read list. I liked it...but I didn’t love it, which always makes me sad. So first: why did I like it? The premise is full of promise.

One of the members of the Queer Sci Fi facebook group had a clever idea of trying to match up group members who wrote similar type of fiction for cross-promotion, on the premise that our readerships might enjoy each others’ work. I wasn’t so sure about the process because I have rather marginal interests relative to the group as a whole (which is somewhat dominated by people writing m/m, sci-fi, and works with an erotic focus). But I ended up matched with the delightful Elin Gregory whose work would be an absolutely perfect mirror for mine except that she focuses on male characters.

The Salt Roads is a beautiful, brutal, crystalline and ambiguous novel tracing the lives of three women of the African diaspora and one mystical spirit.

(I recently did a podcast on the topic of female highwaymen in history and literature, and the motif in modern lesbian romance. This is one of several reviews resulting from my reading for that podcast.)

(I recently did a podcast on the topic of female highwaymen in history and literature, and the motif in modern lesbian romance. This is one of several reviews resulting from my reading for that podcast.)

(I recently did a podcast on the topic of female highwaymen in history and literature, and the motif in the lesbian romance genre. This is one of several reviews resulting from my reading for that podcast.)

Lawrence Hogue’s Daring and Decorum, stands out in the micro-genre of lesbian historic highwaywomen stories for its solid worldbuilding and the deliberation with which it builds the relationship between the two female protagonists, making both their attraction and the obstacles to it believable and solidly grounded in the social history of the times.

Shira Glassman writes self-described "fluffy queer Jewish princess fantasies" (ok, I may have reworded slightly but I think I've kept the essence of it). The Second Mango introduces the reader to Perach, a secondary-world fantasy realm where everyone just happens to be Jewish. I mean that in the most positive possible way -- when creating a fantasy setting completely separate from real-world history, why not set it up exactly as you choose?

"Shadow Duet" is a short story with the same setting and characters as her 18th century historic fantasy novel Masks and Shadows, featuring the famous castrato singer Carlo Morelli and his accompanist-lover Baroness Charlotte von Steinbeck. (Needless to say, their relationship--which was established after the end of the novel--is something of a scandal.) I'd call this work more of a character sketch than a short story, to tell the truth.

I've been a fan of Donoghue's academic works on the history of same-sex relations between women, but although I've collected up a number of her novels, I've only recently decided to prioritize them on my reading list. One essential thing to know, going in, is that a Donoghue novel about romantic and/or sexual relationships between women in history is not a "lesbian historical romance." These aren't formulaic books with happily-ever-after endings, they're fictionalizations of the lives of real historic women.

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