Writers of the Future XXIV
Quite a feast of curious characters and imagination.
Barker, the circus barker for the freaks, has to survive the collapse of the circus. A dog-faced man attacks, but he’s spared by a large tree man, carved by a special knife. Gypsies need his ability to do magic in order to give “the perfect woman” (who has no mouth carved into her) a mouth in order that she might tell what she knows about Mama Angelena’s father. Barker, meanwhile, wants the knife as well, for he has an anklet that alerts the local authorities when he tries to use it and compels them to arrest him.
A fascinating motley crew of characters who encounter other characters just as fascinating on a quest- like tale. The ending dissipates its potential power, and it's told at a novel’s pace but still worth reading. Reminiscent of something Tim Powers might write--makes me want to dig out all my Tim Powers novels. In fact, I was curious to read more of her talent and see where else she’s published. She writes YA paranormal fantasy novels and has one ebook currently listed as 99 cents.