Walton, Jo. Among Others

The typical fantasy novel tells the story of an epic magical battle, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Among Others tells the story of what happens next.  Before the book opens, 15-year-old Welsh girl Morwenna and her twin sister fought a magical battle of wills against their twisted mother, trying to prevent her from taking great power and threatening the order of the world. The girls won, but at a great price. Morwenna, or Mori, is permanently crippled by the injuries she sustained and her sister was killed. Mori takes refuge with the father she’s never known, who sends her off to a British boarding school. There, a permanent outcast due to her disability, her Welsh heritage and accent, and her great love of science fiction and fantasy novels, Mori tries to endure. She trades science fiction books with her father, makes overtures towards the local fairy, makes a handful of human friends—including the school’s librarian, who encourages her reading—and finds a local sci-fi and fantasy book discussion group to join. But she knows her mother isn’t done with her and will try to get to her any way she can. Despite all the magical protections Mori places around herself, another conflict with her powerful and wicked mother is building, and this time Mori is on her own.

This novel is clearly a love letter to genre fiction itself, to the writers thereof, and to every sci-fi and fantasy fan who’s ever felt alienated from this world and sought refuge in another. Masterful. Highly recommended for all fans of the genre.

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