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The Ice Witch: 10/27/18
The Ice Witch by Joel Ross is the conclusion to Beast & Crown. Ji, Roz, Sally, and Chibo, still transformed by the Summer Queen's curse are racing out of the kingdom to hopefully find a away to undo the magic and save the kingdom.
Ross's magic works by equivalent exchange or as he puts it, balance. The more one uses magic, the more one loses from it. For Ji and company, the more they try to use magic to locate someone who can help them, the more of their humanity they lose.
But it's not just people who are affected. The land is too. The entire kingdom and surrounding wildness has been transformed by the repeated abuses of magic perpetrated by the Summer Queen or in the name of the Summer Queen.
There are also further explorations of the Troll and Ogre people and their cultures. Ross's take here is one I haven't seen before, where they are one and the same being more culturally different than species different.
All of this adventure is again set in a California inspired landscape. Given the rough terrain (made rougher and more dangerous through magic) it is as if they are going from Santa Barbara, through the Los Padres Forest, under Lost Hills and the rest of the San Joaquin valley, and up into the glaciers of the Mammoth Lakes Area. All the while, carrying a stolen bag of avocados.
I know I'm being vague again but these two books are worth experiencing without expectations. They are delightfully different from other fantasy worlds.