Peter S. Beagle’s latest novel is a bewitching, impossible-to-categorise masterpiece. Is it a romance, a fairytale, or a fantasy that straddles reality and mythology, with (especially in the scenes involving Joanna and a strangely out-of-time old man called Mr. Mardikian) the slightest hint of wonderful supernatural romcoms like Bell Book, and Candle and I Married a Witch? Or is it suggesting that we are never too old to chase our dreams, even if our dreams come at a price, so maybe we should be careful what we wish for? It is probably all of these and more, and even if you find yourself half-guessing Lioness’s secret long before it is actually revealed, the climax will still take you by surprise and may even break your heart a little. With prose that is more akin to poetry, Beagle’s storytelling casts a spell as potent as Lioness’s magic – if magic is what it is – and his characters, especially Abe and Joanna, are exquisite creations. It’s so good to read a story wherein older people are allowed to be the ‘heroes’ of the adventure, and not relegated to the supporting cast. As a fantasy, this might not have enough darkness for many readers, but as a work of fantastical art, it is flawless.
SUMMERLONG / AUTHOR: PETER S. BEAGLE / PUBLISHER: TACHYON PUBLICATIONS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 29TH