Introducing a major new fantasy book series by Rachel Neumeier, from Orbit
We all get that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and probably most good dog trainers (if you’d like to extend the metaphor) have read Jean Donaldson’s Dogs Are From Neptune. But actually men and women – and dogs – aren’t very different at all. Compared to, say, crocodiles. Or octopuses.
In the world of the Griffin Mage, griffins aren’t just strangely-shaped people with feathers and fur and talons that that can gut you like a fish; they’re also creatures of fire and intrinsically not like us . Humans are good at finding tiny, unimportant differences among themselves and blowing them all out of proportion, but the differences between humans and griffins aren’t tiny or unimportant. Humans and griffins certainly can talk to each other, but whether they can ever actually understand each other is a real question.
Take two kinds of people that are fundamentally different – really different, in ways that really count – and that can lead to tense situations right there. But add human mages who instinctively loathe griffins, griffins who are ferociously predatory by nature, and a human king arrogant enough to believe he’s in control of events and you get a truly incendiary mixture.
Kes, who has always been content to let other people control her life, might stand in the way of disaster. If she can’t bring herself to act, there may not be anybody else who can. Only, if she allows herself to become closer to the griffins, she’ll also have to move farther from her own people, and then whose side will she actually be on?
Bertaud, now – he’s accustomed to manage his own life plus a good deal else. But, alone among men, he actually finds himself understanding the griffins far too well, better than any human has a right to, far better than is quite comfortable. But, like Kes, if he chooses to stand with the griffins, it’s not clear he’ll also be able to protect his own people . . . and then after they’ve both made choices they have to live with, things get complicated . . .
The Griffin Mage series is written by Rachel Neumeier. You can visit her website here .
The SFX Summer Of SF Reading is in association with Waterstone’s , where you can buy all the books you’ll be reading about.