Review: The Mapmaker’s War

The Mapmaker’s War by Ronlyn Domingue

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I’d never heard of Ronlyn Domingue before The Mapmaker’s War came across my desk, but I’m always intrigued when authors who write “literary fiction”—or fiction coded as such—make the leap to “genre fiction”. Y’all know I have extremely little patience with that pair of terms, since they’re mostly used to privilege certain books above others, regardless of any objective means to tell one genre from another. And yet, speculative fiction, especially the schools of science fiction and fantasy, does need to be seen in context—it’s got a history to it. We don’t need more Tolkienesque fantasy, for instance, we’ve run that into the ground several times over. So what happens when an author from outside the genre and the community tries to tackle the stuff without that weight in the back of her mind? Obviously, they’re welcome to—genre is just genre at the end of the day. But it does help, as we’ll see in the case of The Mapmaker’s War.

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Booking Through Thursday: Current Events

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What are you reading right now? (And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?)

I just finished Bitchfest, which I loved, and now I’m onto Ronlyn Domingue’s The Mapmaker’s War. I’m not sure if it’s good or if I would recommend it yet—I’m only twenty pages in! I do need to step up my reading this weekend, so I’ll hopefully finish it then. Over the past few months, I’ve been getting more e-mails about receiving books for review; I’m not sure why, but I think it dates back to my review of The Song of the Vikings. I’m usually extremely cautious and decline most of them—I don’t want to waste anyone’s time and resources if I think that a book and I aren’t going to get on. In fact, most of my review copies come from NetGalley, because it’s a lot easier to select the stuff you think you might be interested in. (If only NetGalley accurately reflected the release date for books!) Plus, I have hundreds of library books to get to that I am one-hundred percent interested in. But, every once in a while, I do accept one. The Mapmaker’s War is fantasy, but it’s also written in the second person, a style I personally dislike, but the advance praise convinced me to give it a shot. Of course, the advance praise also includes a blurb from Deborah Harkness, so that could go either way.