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3.5 

A Season of Monstrous Conceptions

By Lina Rather
A Season of Monstrous Conceptions by Lina Rather digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Lina Rather's A Season of Monstrous Conceptions is an eldritch historical fantasy of midwifery, monstrosity, and the rending of the world, for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Death of Jane Lawrence.

"An entrancing and transformative queer tale of cosmic horror."—Caitlin Starling

"A blood sacrifice of a novel."Meg Elison

In 17th-century London, unnatural babies are being born, with eyes made for the dark and webbed digits suited to the sea.

Sarah Davis is intimately familiar with such strangeness—having hidden her uncanny nature all her life and fled to London under suspicious circumstances, Sarah starts over as a midwife’s apprentice to a member of the illegal Worshipful Company of Midwives, hoping to carve out for herself an independent life. But with each new unnatural birth, the fear in London grows of the Devil's work.

When the wealthy Lady Wren hires her to see her through her pregnancy, Sarah quickly becomes a favorite of her husband, the famous architect Lord Christopher Wren, whose interest in the uncanny borders on obsession. Sarah soon finds herself caught in a web of magic and intrigue created by those who want to use her power for themselves, and whose pursuits threaten to unmake the earth itself.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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19 Reviews

3.5
“A very interesting premise! I enjoyed the mystery and intrigue surrounding the supernatural, especially through the lens of someone who is touched by this otherness. I’m always a fan of reinventing history (particularly with a fantastical or magical twist), and utilizing Sir Christopher Wren’s rebuild of London after the Great Fire was a perfect backdrop. I feel like parts of this book are very rushed: we get plenty of time to learn about Sarah’s complex opinions of herself and those around her but barely any time with her and Sir Wren’s collaboration. This collaboration is “supposed” to be the main plot, according to the book’s summary, but ends up being more on the sidelines. Overall, this was interesting while reading but ultimately forgettable. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Publishing for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”

About Lina Rather

Lina Rather is a speculative fiction author and graduate student living in Central New York. Her short fiction has appeared in venues including Lightspeed, Podcastle, and Shimmer. Her Tordotcom Publishing novella series, Our Lady of Endless Worlds, is about devotion, empire, and nuns living in a giant slug in outer space. When Lina isn’t writing, she likes to cook overly elaborate recipes, read history, and collect cool rocks.

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