The Spear Cuts Through Water (Del Rey, May 30, 2023). Cover by Simón Prades
I always seem to be late with Simon Jimenez. Last year I found his acclaimed debut novel The Vanished Birds buried in the bottom of my TBR file, and three weeks ago I nabbed his follow up The Spear Cuts Through Water the instant I spotted it. Which turned out to be nearly a year after it was published, in August of last year. Some people arrive just as the party’s getting started, and some of us show up when the hors d’oeuvres are all gone and the cops have already raided the place.
Well, it’s still new to me, I guess. This looks like the last weekend of summer weather we’ll get in Chicago, and this book will keep me company on the porch. The Spear Cuts Through Water is the story of two warriors who must guide a dying goddess across a dangerous land, to bring an end to the rule of a tyrannical family. Paul Di Filippo at Locus compares it to Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light (high praise in my book), calling it “utterly individual… A wild chase and odyssey which you must read to believe,” and Polygon included it in their list of Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2022, calling it “mesmerizing… a love story unlike anything you’ve read before.”
Emily Hughes at Vulture included the book in her list of The Best Fantasy Novels of 2022 saying,
Formally ambitious and imaginatively rich beyond wonder, Simon Jimenez’s sophomore novel is a marvel. On the surface, this is the story of two soldiers shepherding a dying goddess across a landscape populated by miracles, oddities, and monsters to bring down a tyrannical emperor. That alone would be enough, but Jimenez’s command of prose and playfulness of thought is used to incredible effect to show how oral traditions can transform a tale… This book must be read to be believed.
The Spear Cuts Through Water was published in hardcover by Del Rey on August 30, 2022, and reprinted in trade paperback on May 30, 2023. It is 522 pages in trade paperback, priced at $18.99. The cover is by Simón Prades.
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