A review of Kim McDougall’s Dragons Don’t Eat Meat (Wrong Tree Press, 2020) By Derek Newman-Stille
Part Valkyrie and part Dryad, Kyra Greene walks between worlds. She’s cut off from her Norse roots and has no connection with dryads, and perhaps this allows her to connect to other outsiders and others who are looking for homes. Kyra works in the magical creatures removal business, but most of the creatures she removes end up living with her in the menagerie that is her apartment.
Kim McDougall’s Dragons Don’t Eat Meat takes place in a post apocalyptic future where human beings damaged the Earth so much that she brought back magic and now most of the world is covered in spaces of magic that are dangerous to human beings. Cities like Montreal have created their own wards to keep chaotic magic and dangerous creatures out, but this is still a dangerous world and Kyra does a dangerous job dealing with magical creatures.
Kyra’s care for magical creatures is what brings her first into contact with dragons, who she had thought were mythical. When she sees poachers abusing and transporting dragons, she, as a compassionate person, needs to intervene, but her good intentions lead her into betrayal, new friendships, and a battle that could end the city of Montreal.
A review of Jamieson Wolf’s Beyond the Stone (Renaissance, 2021)
By Derek Newman-stille
Nothing is as it seems in Jamieson Wolf’s Beyond the Stone. This is an exciting urban fantasy adventure with many twists and turns and a world standing on the precipice of massive and dangerous change. Not only is the world in a state of change, but so is Bane, a man who is socially ostracized because his skin changes into stone, and has developed a rock hard personality to go with it. Bane is on the road to self discovery and change as a result of a new love in his life and his discovery that the world that he knew isn’t what he thought it was.
A review of Lydia M Hawke’s Becoming Crone (Michem Publishing, 2021). By Derek Newman-Stille
We hear popular, ageist phrases like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, and “past your prime”. In our society, ageing is presumed to be a process of decline, an increase in loss, and not a time of growth or learning. Yet, of course learning never ends and there are always new and exciting moments of growth and change throughout our lives. Becoming Crone is a revolutionary urban fantasy story because it presents ageing as a time of growth and not decline.
Lydia M Hawke’s Becoming Crone is a coming of age story that reminds us that coming of age is continually happening throughout our lives. Claire has just turned 60. It’s been a year since her divorce and she is expected to define herself exclusively as a grandmother. Her child and in-laws are constantly worried about her health and assuming that she is on the verge of decline. Yet something new is arising in her, a truth that she has denied while she has been complacent in her role of mother and grandmother. She has been seeing crows near her house and messages are arriving for her. She is about to undergo a massive change in lifestyle and begin a new set of learnings. She’s been chosen to be a Crone, a powerful priestess of the Goddess Morrigan. Nothing makes sense for her any more… and yet, in a way, everything makes sense. Suddenly she knows who she is and is becoming who she always needed to be.
Becoming Crone is Lydia M. Hawke’s challenge to ageist tropes and an opening up of new narrative possibilities that challenge the limiting views of women over 60. Hawke engages with social assumptions about ageing while reversing them with a bit of her own magic.