Lifelode is a quirky, strange, and compelling gem of a book. Walton has a sure, deft hand with characterization and setting, and her prose is lyrical and evocative. This is a story about families and love and how things stay the same even as they change.
In the marches, between East and West, lies Applekirk Manor. Taveth's lifework, her lifelode, is in keeping the Manor safe, sound and well fed. Into this in-between place, where time and free will move neither too slow nor too fast and little magics are everywhere, a stranger comes. Jankin, a scholar from the West, arrives to both learn and to complicate Taveth's peaceful home.
Soon, Jankin meets Hanethe, the great-grandmother of the current lord. Having left the Manor and gone East, she is younger than one would expect and with her she brings the wrath of a goddess, for she has stolen something that belongs to this goddess who will do whatever she must to get it back. Even if it means destroying Applekirk Manor.(NESFA Press, Mar. 2009, 288 pp., $25.00)
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