TOOTH AND CLAW

Author(s): 

A group of siblings deal with the effects of their father's death in TOOTH AND CLAW (3) by Jo Walton. One son wrestles with his father's deathbed confession, while another takes his fight for his inheritance to the law. One daughter falls in love, while another sacrifices herself for her husband. More soap opera than fantasy, this unique tale of familial relations has a twist—they're all dragons. Literally. Walton brilliantly riffs on Victorian society, with loyal family servants, prim and proper parsons and country house parties camouflaging hypocrisy, misogyny and classism. In the dark underbelly of this civilization, the weak are literally killed and eaten, thereby making the high-ranking society members physically as well as metaphorically stronger. Although it may take some getting used to, Walton's unusual approach works surprisingly well as social commentary, high fantasy and family drama. (Nov., 256 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum