Juliet McKenna is an author I’d been meaning to read forever. When good bookfriends expressed quiet but fervent enthusiasm for The Green Man’s Heir, I decided it was time to take the plunge. Today I’m here to be your good bookfriend and express my own quiet but fervent enthusiasm for this contemporary folkloric fantasy series. You should take the plunge, the water is fine if full of terrifying naiads and nixes.

Six months after the Hand’s infiltration, change is rippling through the Vatican’s most secret Society. Politics swirl in advance of the appointment of a new Cardinal. Trust must be re-established between teams so recently at each other’s throats. The Black Archives have received funding for research – although not everyone shares Asanti’s conviction that the best way to fight magic is to study it. But beyond Rome, the tide of magic is rising…

Once upon a time, I would have said a doorstop was my favourite kind of read: a big chonk I could lose myself in. These days, I have shorter commutes (ahem) and less patience; consequently, I’ve come to love shorter-form. Last year, a third of my reads – and half my favourite reads – were novellas. Today and tomorrow I’ll be wrapping up my thoughts on a few I haven’t yet reviewed.