Gaie Sebold’s Babylon Steel was one of the most enjoyable debuts of 2012. The follow-up, Dangerous Gifts, begins once more in the anything-goes city-state of Scalentine, where Babylon Steel, sometime sword-for-hire, runs (and occasionally works in) the city’s best brothel, the Red Lantern. Recruited to bodyguard a young heiress, Enthemmerlee, Babylon travels to nearby Incandress, home of the reptilian Ikinchli and the humanoid Gudain, who treat the Ikinchli as little better than slaves. Enthemmerlee is a Gudain, but is transforming into the Itnunnacklish, a mythical hybrid of Ikinchli and Gudain who will unite the two races if married to a member of each. There are, of course, many who don’t want that to happen.
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- The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
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