Unnamed Pr. Oct. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781951213640. $28. FANTASY
Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival of revelry held on the winter solstice, is turned into a mixture of Mardi Gras and Christmas in Feldman’s (The Angel of Losses) alternate-world Philadelphia. Climate change has ravaged the world, society is on the brink of collapse, and the bacchanalian atmosphere of the celebration has reached a fever pitch. Elite social clubs based on ancient gods rule the city, and membership provides both connections and protection. Nina, once an up-and-coming member of the alchemy-focused Saturn Club, is now barely scraping by after a traumatic incident three years prior forced her to leave that world behind—until an old friend shows up offering money and a chance for revenge. All she needs to do is sneak into the Club’s masquerade ball and steal a small box. What follows is a whirlwind of action spurred on by the dark machinations of the city’s elite as each tries to obtain the secret hidden within the box. Through it all, Nina must decide whom to trust.
VERDICT A masterfully told tale of unchecked ambition, greed, and healing set in a rich and inventive near-future. Give this one to fans of The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo, and The City of Lost Fortunes, by Bryan Camp.
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