Justice Calling: The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, Book 1 and Murder of Crows: The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, Book 2
There is an interesting genre developing which I call modern fantasy. There are no swords or sandals, no dragons or fairies – but there are beings drawn from the many myths and legends of our world, mashed together, and set down in the twenty-first century with a unique set of life skills and problems, and magic. Fresh and interesting fiction often results. As with these.
The Twenty-Sided Sorceress is a Native American, disowned by her family, living on top of a powerful congruence of ley lines in the middle of rural USA with a small community of shapeshifters. She runs a gaming shop. It is giving away nothing you won’t learn early on to add that she is in hiding from her ex, who is a powerful demon keen to absorb her powers to add to his own. How come we never notice that the gorgeous sexy ones are demons until … ? Oh, well.
These are little books. The genre seems to lend itself to novella length work. I also enjoy the fiction of Lynne Cantwell and Melissa Bowerstock, who work in this sort of genre and at much the same length.
Bellet has many books listed on The Zons, and is up to number 9 in this series. So if you get hooked there is plenty of material to enjoy. She describes herself as “author, gamer, nerd” – so she writes, as it were, where she lives. Presumably without the shapeshifting neighbours.
I have served my turn with Dungeons and Dragons, thrown many dice with more than six faces, and given myself RSI playing video games. I have brought innumerable cups of tea to someone lovingly painting cold-cast metal figures with teeny-tiny brushes. It might help with the enjoyment of this series if you have also done these things, or feel you might someday do so. But the action lies outside these interests, with inexplicable forces in the wilds of America .
And there is plenty of action. The books may be short, but not a page is wasted. Bellet gets right into the action and doesn’t stop until the tale is told. There are gruesome bits; very funny bits (never easy to do well); and a bit of romance, which succeeded in that it did not make me yell ‘too much soppy kissing!’ at any point. After all, even a shapeshifter needs a mate.