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A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan. Tor, $15.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2536-5
As in 2009’s brilliant Midnight Never Come, anthropologist Brennan strikes a resonant balance between history and fantasy in this new tale of the faerie domain beneath 1750s London. Halley’s Comet, which houses the exiled Dragon Spirit of Fire who nearly consumed the city in the Great Fire of 1666, is on its way back to Earth. Human lord Galen is in love with faerie queen Lune, bedding the charming sprite Irrith, and engaged to bluestocking Delphia Northwood; as he attempts to untangle these entanglements, he must also enlist members of the new Royal Society, England’s illustrious scientists, and all the multifarious faery talent he can find to fight the Dragon with humanity’s reason, magical faery instinct, and the power of sacrifice and devotion. Enchanting, fearsome faerie vistas and pinpoint character delineations make Galen’s absorbing quest one to savor and remember. (Sept.)