Riversend by Sylvia Kelso
Speculative fiction sometimes gets a bad rap for being nothing but "escapism." While there are certainly plenty of "just for fun" books in the genre, what people sometimes forget is that sci-fi and fantasy have often been a place where writers can experiment with unusual prose styles and tackle controversial themes that might not go over well in mainstream, "realistic" fiction. Sylvia Kelso's Riversend is an ambitious novel, blending dense, lyrical prose with a thought-provoking look at gender roles and unconventional relationships, and it's a good story to boot.
The prose is not going to be for everyone. It took me a little while to catch the rhythm of it. The narration is poetic and filled with sentences that are often long, descriptive, comma-laden, and sometimes fragmentary, as in this description of the character Alkhes:
Worse than outland; rankless, name... Read More
Sylvia KelsoSylvia Kelso lives in North Queensland, Australia, and writes in analogue Australian settings. Her novels The Moving Water and Amberlight were finalists for best fantasy novel in the 2007 and 2008 Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards. See maps and excerpts at Dr. Sylvia Kelso’s website.
Amberlight & Riversend — (2007-2010) Publisher: Tellurith, the head of a great ruling House in Amberlight, inexplicably finds a battered outlander left for dead in the streets of the legendary city — and an oracle reveals that he must not die. The man, although stripped of his memory, may know of a threat to Amberlight’s unique possession: the motherlodes of the qherrique, the pearl-rock that gives their world its most powerful tool. Tangled in intrigue, insurrection and brutal warfare, it will take a cataclysmic upheaval for Tellurith and the stranger to begin to grasp the more-than-human mystery that brought them together.
Riversend by Sylvia Kelso
The Rihannar Chronicles — (2005-2008) Publisher: What does the dragon know? The kingdom of Everran is dying, razed by a dragon that came out of nowhere to burn its oil groves and devastate its vineyards and kill its folk. Everran was safe, prosperous, and contented, with peaceful lords, a strong king, and beautiful queen. What has it ever done to earn a curse? But legend says a dragon’s coming always has a cause. If no enemy has bespelled the country, is there something wrong in Everran itself? Despite its prosperity and its peace and its royal couple who have not yet had a child? Soldiers cannot stop the dragon. There is no help in Everran’s neighbors, and none in legend or history. Why has the dragon come? What does the dragon know? Answering its riddle will explain the ruin of a kingdom — and turn its ruler into something less than human but very much more than a man.