Friday, June 14, 2019

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1), by Rebecca Roanhorse

Saga Press, ISBN 9781534413498, June 2018

Earthquakes, global warming, and rising waters--the Big Water--have done a job on most of the world, but Dinétah, formerly the Navaho reservation, has been reborn. It's not paradise, but behind walls both built by humans and remade by Diné gods, Diné culture lives.

This includes Diné gods and monsters once again walking the land.

Maggie Hoskie is a Diné monsterhunter, taught by Neizghάni, one of the Diné immortals, now abandoned by him, and struggling along on her own. When a village sends for her to kill a monster and recover a little girl the monster stole, because Neizghάni seems to have abandoned everyone, she goes. She can't save the girl, but she does kill the monster, and take its head.

Deeply disturbed by this particular monster, she takes the head to Tah, an old medicine man who, unlike most people, likes her. This is the real start of her troubles. Or her real troubles started years ago, when Neizghάni rescued her from the monsters that killed her grandmother.

What follows is an epic struggle, in a damaged world, where some "modern" technology survives and some doesn't, and gods and monsters walk the Earth, and it's not always clear which is which. Even among humans, Maggie can't always tell who her friends or her enemies are. Unlikely friends, unlikely enemies, and serious doubts about the moral character of her own abilities and actions mean Maggie is often in doubt about whether she's one of the good guys or one of the bad guys.

It's absorbing, complex, and compelling.


I received this book as part of the 2019 Hugo Voters Packet.

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