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WesternSFA
Discord's Apple
by Carrie Vaughn
Tor Books, 2010, $7.99, 339 pp
Release Date: March 1, 2011

This is a standalone, radical young adult fantasy by the author of the hugely popular Kitty series. Set in a near future in which most of the world is a low-grade war zone, the aptly named Evie Walker, who writes the script for a successful military-action comic, drives from L.A. to her small home town in Colorado, because her father is dying and she's all the family that's left.

It turns out that being a Walker carries a certain responsibility, and as the soon-to-be-last of the Walkers, Evie is in for it. For millennia, Walkers have been custodians of the worlds’ artifacts and magical treasures: glass slippers, swords that select true kings, golden fleece - stuff like that. Now, when Evie answers the door to a stranger, she may have something for that person - or she may get a strong sense that the person has no right to the requested item.

So what do you do when a man who has been unable to die since the Trojan War shows up, looking for a weapon that will undo Apollo's "gift" of immortality? And what do you say to the one remaining goddess of the Greek pantheon, who seems to have no scruples whatsoever, when she wants to claim the Apple of Discord that started that war? And what can you possibly say when Merlin shows up, looking for the once and future king?

The sub-stories are fascinating: the intimacy of Evie's creative process during her writing, the glimpses of Walker family history, the backstory of the young man who cannot be killed. Throughout, Vaughn exquisitely explores our human feelings of grief and love, longing and despair, courage and hope. Strongly recommended. ~~ Chris Paige

For other Carrie Vaughn books click here

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