The long-awaited sequel to Carousel Tides, enchanting contemporary fantasy by Sharon Lee, award-winning co-creator of the popular Liaden Universe saga. When magic meets mundane, sparks fly: These are exciting times in Archers Beach, Maine! An unprecedented Early Season has united townies and carnies in an effort expand into a 12-month resort, recapturing the town's former glory.
Kate Archer, owner-operator of the vintage wooden carousel, is caught up in the excitement - and is quite possibly the cause of it. Because Kate leads a double life, as carny, and as Guardian of the land. Her recent return to the home she had forsaken has changed the town's luck - for the better - and energized the trenvay - Earth and water spirits who are as much citizens of the Beach as their mundane counterparts.
But the town's new energy isn't the only change afoot. Joe Nemeier, the local drug lord, whose previous magical consultant was vanquished by Kate, has acquired a new ally - and this one plays with fire.
©2014 Sharon Lee (P)2014 Audible Inc.
When the second installment in the Archer's Beach trilogy was released by Baen, back in February, I bought it immediately, and also looked to buy the Audible version, since I had so much enjoyed Elizabeth Rodgers reading of Carousel Tides. But it wasn't available and apparently wasn't coming. Fortunately, it all got sorted, and we now have another excellent narration by Ms. Rodgers in Sharon Lee's Archer's Beach trilogy.
For those familiar with Sharon Lee and her Liaden books, the Archer's Beach books are a horse of a quite different colour. Rather than Space Opera, we have pure Maine Fantasy, and what a delight it is. In this second installment, there's a new, if rather questionable, animal for the carousel, and a new person running the midway at Archer's Beach, Peggy Marr. Ms. Mafr is a hot-shot troubleshooter for the corporate types "back away".
When she first comes to Archer's Beach, she's just a bit out of sync with the land and the characters of Archer's Beach, but Peggy quickly gets settled in, and, with the help of Kate Archer, the hereditary Guardian of the Land, gets the midway up and running. Meanwhile, Kate is dealing with not a few problems, both mundane and magical, caused by the local drug lord and by an ozalli from another world who is less than happy about the imprisonment (by The Wise) of his lover.
The narration by Elizabeth Rodgers is excellent and added to my enjoyment of the book. The accent is right for a Maine book, with good pacing and good character separation without resorting to weird voices.
I look forward to the final book in the series, Carousel Seas, whose eBook is due out by the end of the year. Hopefully we won't have to wait 6 months for the Audible version!
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