Will Shetterly’s first novel Cats Have No Lord was published in 1985, the same year he launched his groundbreaking Liavek shared world anthology series, which he co-edited with his wife Emma Bull. Cats Have No Lord placed sixth in the annual Locus Poll for Best First Novel (losing to Tad Williams, Guy Gavriel Kay, Michael Swanwick, and Carl Sagan, but placing ahead of Geoff Ryman, Judith Tarr, Sheila Finch, and Dan Simmons — man, 1985 was a competitive year!)
Over the next few years Shetterly quickly established a solid reputation, with novels like The Tangled Lands (1989), Nevernever (1993), and especially Dogland (1997), the tale a of child growing up in a dog-themed amusement park. It was inspired by his early years at the Dog Land tourist attraction, which was owned by his parents. His novel Elsewhere (1991), part of Terri Windling’s shared universe The Borderland, won the Minnesota Book Award. He has largely given up writing since producing his last book, Midnight Girl, a self-published online novel, in 2009.
Witch Blood was his second novel; it was released as a paperback original by Ace in April 1986. It has never been reprinted, although Shetterly released a digital edition in 2012. When it was released Orson Scott Card called it “”A funny, exciting adventure story that delighted me from beginning to end.” Modern readers draw strong parallels to Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos novels, which seems like a fair comparison. It’s not hard to find; I bought a copy last weekend at Half Price Books for $1.49. It is 197 pages, with a cover price of $2.95. The cover is by Penalva.