Steelflower (Steelflower, book 1), by Lilith Saintcrow

Finally, stuff we come to day five, angina the final day in our inaugural Small Press Week. Samhain Publishing is generally thought of as an e-publisher, pharmacy but they do release print versions of their novels. Those come out generally several months later, though. They were founded in November of 2005; the name refers to the Wiccan (pagan) major holiday that falls on October 31/November 1. Lilith Saintcrow is probably best known for her Dante Valentine novels (Working for the Devil, Dead Man Rising, The Devil’s Right Hand, etc.) about a necromancer who’s, well, working for the devil. At least at first. However, I found a random high fantasy work of hers on the Samhain website, and I thought I’d give it a try.

Kaia is a G’mai; some call them elves, but they hate that term. She was kicked out of the G’mai home country when she was sixteen or so due to lack of magical ability, though; she’s been working as a mercenary swordfighter, a pickpocket, an assassin, or whatever might net her a little bit of money. She somehow ends up picking the pocket of a giant redheaded barbarian, and ends up with a flawed crystal on a chain. Turns out that that crystal is a talisman to find the original owner — he goes by Darik — find his ‘twin’, or the G’mai woman he’s supposed to be bonded and mated to. Kaia rejects this; she has no magic! However, there’s a lot going on. Who, exactly, is Darik? Will he ever give up and find the person he’s supposed to be bonded to? And, well, there’s a war going on somewhere, right? Continue reading Steelflower (Steelflower, book 1), by Lilith Saintcrow