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.
I was drawn into Paul Cornell’s ever-so-English rural fantasy after hearing him read from The Lost Child of Lychford at Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. With the series now complete – and in lieu of reviewing the last two novellas, natch – let’s take a look at why it makes my heart sing.
Dan Mackmain has a new home, steady work and a fragile happiness… until he’s asked to go manage the renovation of a Cotswold estate. When the Green Man makes it clear Dan must go south, he packs his bags – but why is he needed at Brightwell?
Daniel Mackmain’s life gains a new complication when an evening walk in the woods puts him near a murder scene without much of an alibi. Dan has his reasons for keeping to himself – but his closely-kept secrets make him look awfully suspicious…
When Tobias Finch offers new landowner Henry Silver shelter from the rain, they strike up an unlikely friendship. But Greenhollow holds an irresistible attraction for a folklorist – and so does the Wild Man who lives there.
A man with a nightmare face staggers into a riverside tavern carrying a dead girl who comes back to life. It’s the stuff legends are made of. It’s a gift to a community of storytellers – but truth can be stranger than fiction…
When the Sisters hit the Earth, they ended modern civilisation in minutes. Tidal waves wiped out coastal cities. The Long Autumn culled millions as oceans rose, crops failed and medicines ran out. 100 years later, opposing forces are trying to assert control over Britain’s scattered survivors. Welcome to the Aftermath.
The Hadleys are on the run, at the heart of a struggle that is challenging their convictions about who they are. The Jardines are in control of the country, the ruthless Chancellor happy committing atrocities and ruling by fear. But power is a slippery thing, and family can’t be trusted any more than rebels…
Things aren’t the same in Lychford since That There Vote (no, not the one about the supermarket). There are new divisions between friends, neighbours and witches. With terrors beyond the magical boundaries, the question of borders has never been so charged.
‘Tis the season in Lychford: Autumn is feeling more single than ever, Judith is almost used to the idea that she might have friends, and Lizzie’s struggling to keep her Christmas spirit in the face of Greg Lake, a Christmas Eve wedding and ghostly visits from a scared young boy…
With the Chancellor dead, the Jardines are back in control of Britain. As Luke Hadley is delivered to the Scottish fortress of Lord Crovan for his Condemnation, Abi escapes to join Luke’s agitating allies. But can they do anything to avert the horror the Jardines will bring to Britain – let alone rescue poor Luke before he chooses to walk through the Last Door?
In a deeply different nearly now, Britain is ruled by the Equals – those with the Skill to assert their rights. UnSkilled commoners owe ten years of their lives in slave labour, with no protection under the law. As they begin their slavedays, the Hadley siblings find themselves at the heart of the fight for the future.
A sleepy Cotswold town faces an existential threat: a major supermarket wishes to open on the outskirts. But this is more than just a vexing question of planning permission that will set neighbour against neighbour. This is a threat to the very fabric of reality. At least, that’s what Judith says.
It’s nearly Christmas, and Will Stanton is turning 11. As if puberty and buying presents for 9 siblings weren’t hazard enough, he awakens on his birthday to discover he is the last of the Old Ones, fated to seek the Signs of the Light and stop the Dark from rising.
It’s easy to be snarky, but this festive classic is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine.