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Biscuits and Slashed Browns by Maddie Day Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
To Coach a Killer by Victoria Laurie
Deadly Daggers by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Double or Muffin by Victoria Hamilton and Margaret Strom (Narrator)
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Volume 3 by Hinowa Kouzuki and Waka Miyama (Illustrator)
Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge and Vanessa Daniels (Narrator)
The House of Brides by Jane Cockram
Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Little Black Book by Kate Carlisle
Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds and Pablo Leon (Illustrations)
More to the Story by Hena Khan
Muffled by Jennifer Gennari
Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing and Brooke Hoover (Narrator)
Paladin's Hope by T. Kingfisher
A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching by Rosemary Mosco
Restaurant to Another World Volume 4 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
A Study in Murder by Callie Hutton and Rosie Akerman (Narrator)
Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye
Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator)
There's a Ghost in This House by Oliver Jeffers
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble by Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru
The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

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Paladin's Hope: 12/19/21

Paladin's Hope

Paladin's Hope by T. Kingfisher is the third of the Saint of Steel novels. Piper is a lich-doctor. Galen is a paladin of a dead god. Both have been enlisted by Constable Earstripe, a gnole who is investigating the headless bodies that have been fished out of the river. Thus begins the weird and wonderful marriage of fantasy, cozy mystery, and romance genres.

This novel has a similar pacing to Double or Muffin by Victoria Hamilton but with the two main plots reversed. Hamilton puts the domestic / contemporary plot first and the mystery second. Here Kingfisher jumps right into the mystery and then segues into the romance between Piper and Galen. What holds the two pieces together is the fantasy setting and the return of the wonder machines.

The middle section which is a disturbing mix The Wonder Engine (2018) and The Hollow Places (2020). This section while tension filled has two problems for me: the obviousness of the impending betrayal and the sheer number of pages devoted to it.

That said, the middle section defines this novel's placement on the road narrative spectrum. While Galen and Piper do end up together, as travelers they aren't yet. The three together are each experts at what they do and are thus, privileged (00). Their destination is uhoria (CC) because the main focus is on how old the structure is and who built it. Their route, though, is literally a death maze (CC).

Four stars

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