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The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley
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Bloodroot by Susan Wittig Albert
Chili Cauldron Curse by Lynn Cahoon
Crow by Candace Robinson and Amber R Duell
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
Death Gone A-Rye by Winnie Archer
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Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn and Christa Lewis (Narrator)
Montauk by Nicola Harrison
Nightschool: The Weirn Books Collector's Edition, Volume 2 by Svetlana Chmakova
On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young and Dina Pearlman (Narrator)
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker
A Playdate With Death by Ayelet Waldman
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
Sabrina: Something Wicked by Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish (illustrator)
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing
To Know You're Alive by Dakota McFadzean
This is Munich by Miroslav Sasek
Those People by Louise Candlish
Unplugged by Gordon Korman
A Witch's Printing Office, Volume 2 by Mochinchi and Yasuhiro Miyama
Wondercat Kyuu-Chan Volume 1 by Sasami Nitori

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Crow: 05/16/21


Crow by Candace Robinson and Amber R Duell is the second of Faeries of Oz romance series. Now reunited after twenty-one years, Crow and Reva are headed north to take down the Witch of the North.

As an older reader I found the romance between older main characters. Sure, they're probably immortal and probably permanently hot, but the important part is they have a history together. They're married. They have a daughter. And, yes, a whole busload of baggage to work through.

Their journey northward also gives more time to expand the world building and flesh out the timeline. Dorothy — this version of Dorothy — didn't get to Oz until she was around eleven. That makes her older than the Baum Dorothy but younger than the MGM one. Assuming a starting age of six in 1900 (The Wizard of Oz, we can extrapolate an arrival at age eleven happening in 1905. That puts Dorothy's delayed arrival just after The Marvelous Land of Oz.

From Ozma's description of what happened, it appears that her escape as Tip happened as expected. The only difference is that the Wizard wasn't sent home and has become power hungry. His actions contributed to the power grabs by Langwidere of Ev and the (G)nome King. Both these invasions, though, presuppose ways around the Deadly Desert, though one can imagine the (G)nome King tunneling through and Langwidere using that tunnel too.

Chart showing relative positions of Tin and Crow on the Road Narrative Spectrum.

Crow and Reva's journey can also be mapped on the road narrative spectrum, just as the previous volume could. These travelers are a married couple (33). Their destination, the witch's location in the north, is a rural one (33). Their route, though, is the cornfield (FF) as explored through both Crow's name and his on-going ties to a cursed cornfield. (3333FF).

This second book with an established (albeit estranged) couple thoroughly changes the dynamics and tone. A couple is far more vulnerable to trouble on the journey than a paired scarecrow (Dorothy) and minotaur (Tin) are. They will have more steps to take, more danger to face, and more chances at failure or worse. And yet, because of a curse they are able to travel along more magical means than the previous pair of travelers.

The third book is Ozma and it releases May 26th.

Four stars

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