My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a fun book — and it just won the 2019 Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association’s Aurora Award for Best Novel. Congratulations, Kate!
A grumpy, greedy, dying widow, her head-in-the-clouds daughter, and a mercenary soldier who is secretly a woman join up with another rag-tag group of refugees fleeing medieval Bruges at war. The weapons against them include plague, revenants, and horrible animal-human-weapon chimeras sent by the Chatelaine of Hell, who has betrayed and imprisoned her husband, the Hellbeast.
As life goes from bad to worse for these refugees, they find they have no choice but to defeat the hellish Chatelaine and her ghastly army. It looks impossible – a mad plan, suicidal in fact, and complicated, but the widow’s money is in hell and she’s going to get it back.
Besides the action, plot twists, and historical accuracy, a bright thread of humor runs through the story and ties it up in a bow like a gift: a thinking woman’s tale of medieval sword-and-sorcery.