From Publishers Weekly
When it first appeared in print in mass market in 1989, Sherman's (The Porcelain Dove) debut novel, a queer fantasy, won a John W. Campbell Award nomination. No wonder: Sherman's grasp of setting, language and human behavior snare the reader deeply into the story of a widowed woman's search for peace and survival. The handsome king in this tale has a taste for the strapping young men around him. The gentle maidens swoon over a quiet and romantically somber youth, who is, in fact, a woman in disguise. And the sorceress that bedevils the kingdom of Albia grows queasy at the thought of being touched by another man after her reluctant submission to the sorcerer who trained her. Is this a ribald escapade of explicit sex? Hardly. Sherman's deft touch reveals her characters' desires in a subtle yet unapologetic manner. She presents not the typical sword-and-sorcery fantasy, but a tale that takes a realistic--and captivating--look at medieval times. (Sept.) FYI: The Porcelain Dove won the 1994 Mythopoeic Award.
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