The Folded World: A Dirge for Prester John, Vol. 2

Catherynne M. Valente. Night Shade (www.nightshadebooks.com), $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-59780-203-1
The complex sequel to 2010’s The Habitation of the Blessed details the travels and travails of fantastical creatures caught between ancient myth and early Christianity. Prester John, having hornswoggled his way to the throne of a fantastical kingdom, receives a letter begging him to defend Constantinople and Jerusalem. He obligingly travels west with his wife, the blemmye Hagia, and other members of his kingdom to promote Christ and stop the spread of Islam. Their trip culminates in a graphic and devastating battle, and deaths on both sides infuse the fantasy with reality and blur the lines between good and evil. Valente brings unicorns and talking lions brilliantly to life, and her cast of mysterious beings elevates this engaging and mystical tale. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
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