I saw an ebook that had a woman in pigtails at a bar on the cover. She looked alternative and edgy. The book was a paranormal romance or urban fantasy. The woman is a mutt. A mix of different shifters with no special powers. The back cover blurb called her a mutt. She works in a bar. The setting was mentioned on the back cover. A dragon comes in and becomes obsessed with her. She can’t figure out why she’s nothing special in their world. I can’t remember the author or title. But the tone had a bit of humor and I went to click on it later and couldn’t find the ad and link. I really want to read this book. It sounded fun.
Category Archives: Fantasy
369I: Girl summer magic or witchcraft (Solved!)
I read a book sometime in the late 70s/early 80s that was purchased from my school through a flyer or book fair. It was a chapter book that may have had an illustration or two. Best I can remember, a girl is spending her summer break maybe in a new home or at a relative’s home. It seems like the summer may have been rainy and she was exploring the house. She found something in a basement or cellar that was either magical or had to do with witchcraft. She experimented with the magic but it seemed to turn out badly and there was an explosion or climactic event in the basement. In the end, all was resolved with a pleasant ending. I don’t remember the book centering on any other characters so only one main female child. I don’t remember the title or the cover but I have a vague recollection of orange and purple on it. Here’s hoping someone remembers.
369H: Murder Mystery in London with clones
I have posted this query on Reddit and on Stack Exchange previously.
This would have been after 1996 – 2005 ish, and I’m pretty sure it was a newly published book.
It starts with a woman who has hallucinations, and runs into an alleyway where she finds a body that looks just like hers that has been murdered. Later on, she finds a beautiful man who says he’s from another parallel universe and seems to think he’s connected with Arthurian legends, i.e. he talks about Merlin, wizards, and so on.
It starts off looking very magical and predictable, with the woman and the handsome man trying to hunt down the murderer. Then it goes somewhere else entirely.
There were seven murders in total at various points around London — they thought that it might be Jack the Ripper based, but it turns out the murders occurred at ritually significant distances around the city, and that Jack the Ripper was actually the last time they tried this, to open a portal between the worlds.
They think that the slimy enemies from another dimension are responsible, and the handsome man calls to Merlyn, his boss, to help out and ensure the slimy enemies don’t get a foothold.
They succeed, but then the woman finds that the slimy enemies are not responsible for the murders. The handsome stranger turns out to have murdered her clone himself as part of the ritual that would allow his reality to enter hers — she is actually the clone, and the original was murdered. Her confused memories and hallucinations are because she ran off before the stranger could finish creating a convincing replacement and so she still retains some memories of the original.
The handsome stranger is actually a useful idiot that is handsome and dumb precisely because he’s a facade that covers what the traders actually look like (they’re distinctly non-human and not nearly as affable). He’s a construct.
And there’s the Handsome Stranger’s manager… who appears as a kindly wizard based on Merlin? Again, he turns out to have been orchestrating the entire thing, and the whole “help us save your reality against evil slimy things” turns out to have been a dispute over trading rights to Earth between two equally slimy organizations.
The book ends with humanity establishing trade and goods with the unbound reality and becoming less and less human — strange buildings, humans with gecko like arms and legs living on walls, etc. Very creepy, and very hard to forget.
368M: Mysterious Archipelago
I’ve been looking for a book, but have been unable to find it – I believe it’s because I can’t remember any sufficiently specific keywords, but it’s also possible that I made the whole thing up.
Context : it’s an early chapter book (see: Secrets of Droon, Fairy Realm) I would have read this somewhere between 2003-2010, but probably 2005-2006. This is part of a series of books, and I believe it’s the last one – probably the third or fourth book in the series.
Physical description: I think it’s about 200-300 pages long, and I had it probably in a paperback, which I almost certainly got from the library. I think the cover was light (maybe a white background?) with some bright colors, and I distinctly remember both the cover art and the illustrations having a sparse, low-fi, doodle-y style. One of the things I remember best is that all the books had maps in the front, which I think were in black and white – this particular map shows the mythical islands where most of the story takes place, and I learned the word “archipelago” while reading it. It’s possible that the author was from the U.K., based on the vibes of the place names.
Plot description: It’s a fantasy series (all the characters come from a fairly generic, medieval-y world, definitely none come from our world through a portal or anything). It features a young, plucky heroine, who is now a seasoned adventurer (despite her humble origins in the beginning of the series). She might have some kind of professional title (possibly “Royal Adventurer” or something of that ilk) – I’m pretty sure the first book in the series involves her being sent (or sending herself) to slay a dragon, but instead befriending it. I think at some point, she’s illustrated with curly, light-colored hair, wearing a horned helmet and an oversized chainmail shirt (possibly found in the dragon’s hoard?). In this book, she is caught in a storm (while flying on the dragon? Or perhaps in a boat? Did she sail into it on purpose?) and becomes stranded on an island that seemed to be part of myth (diegetically- she had found a partially destroyed map with some clues on it, while searching for some MacGuffin, which involved some kind of powerful object or noble person who had disappeared under unusual circumstances). On this island, there are people who might be mages of some sort, who heal her injuries, fix up her mode of transportation, and give her soft robes to wear – kind of a Calypso/ spa kind of thing. I think these people are also tall and unusually beautiful in some way. They have some kind of communal ritual involving music/singing, which maybe also controls the weather (possibly maintaining the storm that the heroine was caught in initially). It’s clear that the island is way better than the place that the heroine comes from (delicious food, clear crystalline water, warm weather, birds singing, what-have-you) and the people want to protect it or something. The heroine is then able to explore the archipelago and finds a resolution to her initial quest/MacGuffin. The people on the island offer the heroine a permanent place in their luxurious hidden society (are they trying to hide something suspicious, or rewarding her valor? Maybe they’re just like that) but she feels an obligation to the people who sent her on her initial quest, and so returns home. After this, she feels that her adventuring days have come to an end, and retires in a hilly place with sheep and apples. If she has a dragon, it might live in her barn or otherwise nearby. The place might have a whimsical, Irish-sounding name, like “Winsey”.
368E: The Witch’s Apprentice
I’m trying to recover an illustrated children’s book from before 2005 or so. It was hardback, with a green cover, I believe. The illustration style was quite unique and lovely, almost Celtic? Lots of green. The main crux of the book was an alchemist/witch and her apprentice who she sends into the woods to gather needed ingredients for a potion or spell. It took place primarily in the forest, and one of the ingredients I remember was a specific type of mushroom. Other tasks involved something in a marsh/swamp, and maybe something about flying creatures? But what I remember most was the alchemist/witch. She had long dark hair.
367W: The Undead Fetus
A male news reporter finds his pregnant wife dead. He is attacked and ends up in hospital. The police tell him the fetus is missing/stolen. He comes back home to find the fetus there. He buries it, but it crawls back out. His wife turns out to be an ancient god. There’s a cyclops. The town has a Halloween parade.
367U: Fiction book by male (Norwegian?) author….like (something) ….gåard..
From ? library in the United States. Red hardback cover…no jacket. College or high school kids on trip get lost underground/in caves and encounter literal demons…i.e. red skinned….within vast huge cavern…lava hot.
367T: Fantasy creatures sing boy to sleep, get stolen, then rescued
I am looking for a children’s picture book from the late 1970s, early 1980s. The book was on natural/beige paper with brown line drawings. The story was a fantasy where a young boy lives in a small cottage. Every night, flying creatures (birds? harpy-like things?) fly over his home and sing him to sleep. Possibly as the sun sets. They sing the same song every night. The lyrics were along the lines of “Remember my friend of the song of your heart. Remember my friend, for the rest of your life. Love conquers all, for it never grows dim. Love conquers all, for all time”. The book came with a cassette tape and my siblings and I could probably hum the song to this day. One night, the bird things don’t come and sing. The boy gets worried. He hears knocking at his door or window. It is a talking animal or non-human of some sort. He hears that the local monster thing that lives in a cave or mountain through the woods has stolen the bird things and plans to eat them and/or make them sing only for him. The boy says, “We must get them back. We must!”. The boy climbs on the back of a horse or four-legged animal and they race through the woods to the cave/mountain. The boy sneaks into the cave where the bird things are in cages. He releases them somehow and they escape. Not sure what happens to the monster thing. The book ends as the bird things once again fly over his house and sing him to sleep. I want to say that the monster thing is a Gorgon but I’ve maybe conflated Greek myths later on with this early fantasy children’s book. Or, it is a really well known adaptation and this will be an easy solve.
367S: Falling for the Prince of Fae
Contested Fae Romance YA fantasy novel I read in library between 1994 and 2000. Protagonist girl falls for cold and intriguing guy (maybe named Percival? Parsifal?), finds out he’s the prince of Fae and his mother does not consent to their relationship. At some point mortal protagonist saves him or the mother AND him from iron-related trap, thus earning her respect. Cover had small pointy leaves on left side.
367R: The Odd Fae Child
I read this book about 20+ years ago when I was Junior High in the US. It was about this guy who fell in love with a woman from a fae race I believe? I honestly don’t remember that much about it except I think the cover had some art but was green in binding. They had some sort of huge struggle with a type of villain and they ended up together and pregnant. He thought it would be a normal 9 month pregnant like for humans and her race actually had a 3 year gestation. Their baby was a girl who was very different and inquisitive and wasn’t a normal human child. That’s essentially all I remember. If you could help me find it, I would appreciate it!