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For a Muse of Fire: 10/27/19
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig is the start of a duology set in a fantasy world that draws its influences from the author's Chinese-Hawaiian heritage. The world she has created reminds me of also of Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
Jetta and her family are performers. They do shadow puppet shows. Instead of using strings and sticks, each puppet is imbued with the soul of a dead animal. Her last collected soul is of a kitten before things start to fall apart.
The kingdom is in the middle of civil unrest. The army, using the rebellion as cover are restricting travel and are enacting marshal law. Jetta and her family are caught in the middle.
Hellig adds to her world the ephemera one would expect from a complex nation. There is sheet music (and an actual sound track that pre-orders were allowed to download), military reports, correspondence, and maps. All together one is given the sense of a fully realized world of the likes of Tolkein or Silverberg.
The second book, A Kingdom for a Stage (2019) was released on October 8th. I will be posting my review soon.