Today my daughter and I are en route to Indiana to spend a few days with my family before heading to Realm Makers! It will be my seventh Realm Makers and my daughter's second but first in-person conference. I am so excited to bring her into my world and introduce her to my people.
What better way to kick off Realm Makers than to feature last year's Realm Award winner Seventh City by Emily Hayse. A well-deserved honor!
It's easy for a book that's a light steampunk novel with a bit of romance thrown in (cough The Electrical Menagerie or anything steampunk/gas lamp by H.L. Burke), but it's a true feat of writing ability to engage me in a book that is so-not-my-tastes. Seventh City is a Western set in an Alaska-like Arctic setting. I don't really like Westerns or cold settings. The irony that I live in a Western mountain town and love it is not lost on me.
So, wait, what? You're featuring a book that you didn't like?
Au contraire. I loved Seventh City and couldn't put it down despite it not being my kind of book. Maki is an engaging heroine. There are so many interesting secondary characters. The setting is familiar yet imaginative.
Maki is from a remote village and an invading army has destroyed her village and threatening her people. Maki takes along her wolf pup and a collects a group of people and a team of sled dogs to embark on an epic quest to the seventh city, a place of legend that has to be a myth. But is it? The plot speeds through like a sled team on the Iditarod. And yes, there is a sled team. I found myself staying up late for "one more chapter" (famous last words). I had to know what was going to happen and ultimately, I needed to know if the seventh city was real. And of course, there's no way I'm telling you.
How many of you will I see at Realm Makers 2021? Meet me in St. Louis!