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Saint Death's Daughter

C S E Cooney


"I loved Saint Death's Daughter to pieces. I loved the world-building and the characters and the way that every time I thought I knew what kind of book it was, it changed. There was an ebullience to this book, in its world-building (with footnotes!) and its prose and its characters, that I found both delightful and compelling. I enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to the next installment in the adventures of Miscellaneous Immiscible Stones." -- Katherine Addison

"Saint Death's Daughter is a tumultuous, swaggering, cackling story, a gorgeous citrus orchard with bones for roots. Miscellaneous Stones’ journey into adulthood and power, sorting knowledge from wisdom and vengeance from justice, has an ocean’s breadth and depth, its storms and sparkles and salt. Soaring with love and absolutely fizzing with tenderness and joy--I have never read anything so utterly alive." -- Amal El-Mohtar

I recently described "Saint Death's Daughter" to someone as being similar to "Gideon the Ninth", a fantasy/science-fiction tale about queer necromancers. The response was an incredulous stare. So I began at the top of this article with two quotes from established fantasy writers that seem to me to be fair praise for this book. "Saint Death's Daughter" is set in a world where there are twelve gods but the story revolves around the Stones family, followers of the goddess of death, Doedenna. All their magical gifts are tied to death in some way and they have served the Blood Royal Brackenwilds for generations in a variety of roles such as Royal Assassin, Chief  Executioner and Chief Warlord. Our heroine, Miscellaneous Immiscible Stones, or Lanie, is the first necromancer to be born in several generations and like all necromancers in their youth she has a strong allergy to death. Even the mention or the thought of a gruesome demise causes her to experience the same wounds on her own body. When their parents die suspiciously within months of each other, Lanie's bloody thirsty sister, Amanita Muscaria Stones returns home to wreak vengeance and assume her parents' positions at court. Thus begins a chain of events that leads to Lanie fleeing her home with Good Graves, the undead servant bound to the Stones family who raised Lanie, Nita's shapeshifter husband, Mak and their daughter, Sacred Datura Stones. Many strange and magical adventures follow in this strange colorful world where most people are gender fluid, the gods are strange and death is not an ending.