Where Epic Fantasy, Uncanny SF, and the New Weird Collide: The Stars Askew by Rjurik Davidson
Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky was one of the most intriguing works of weird fantasy of 2014. Scott Westerfield called it “An amazing debut… Rjurik Davidson works the sharp edges where epic fantasy, uncanny science fiction, and the New Weird collide.” One of the most fascinating things about it was the marvelously realized fantasy city of Caeli-Amur, home to men, minotaurs, and ancient magic. Hannu Rajaniemi said, “Rjurik has a brilliant, fecund imagination, and I absolutely love the setting… Caeli-Amur is one of the more memorable cities in recent fantasy.” The Stars Askew is the long-awaited sequel, on sale now from Tor Books.
With the seditionists in power, Caeli-Amur has begun a new age. Or has it? The escaped House officials no longer send food, and the city is starving. When the moderate leader Aceline is murdered, the trail leads Kata to a mysterious book that explains how to control the fabled Prism of Alerion. But when the last person to possess the book is found dead, it becomes clear that a conspiracy is afoot. At its center is former House Officiate Armand, who has hidden the Prism. Armand is vying for control of the Directorate, the highest political position in the city, until Armand is betrayed and sent to a prison camp to mine deadly bloodstone.
Meanwhile, Maximilian is sharing his mind with another being: the joker-god Aya. Aya leads Max to the realm of the Elo-Talern to seek a power source to remove Aya from Max’s brain. But when Max and Aya return, they find the vigilants destroying the last remnants of House power.
It seems the seditionists’ hopes for a new age of peace and prosperity in Caeli-Amur have come to naught, and every attempt to improve the situation makes it worse. The question now is not just whether Kata, Max, and Armand can do anything to stop the bloody battle in the city, but if they can escape with their lives.
Read an original story in the same setting, “Nighttime in Caeli-Amur,” published free at Tor.com.
The Stars Askew was published by Tor Books on July 12, 2016. It is 411 pages, priced at $25.9 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Allen Williams.