AN ACCIDENT OF STARS Fem­i­nist fan­tasy

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased Out NOW! 444 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook

Au­thor Foz Mead­ows Pub­lisher an­gry ro­bot

In 2016, it shouldn’t be note­wor­thy to say that a work of fic­tion has plenty of fe­male char­ac­ters, that it passes the Bechdel test, that it shows women in po­si­tions of power and rep­re­sents a full spec­trum of colours, sex­u­al­i­ties and gen­ders while it’s at it – but it is. So we’ll say all those things about An Accident Of Stars, be­cause it’s great – and still, sadly, un­usual – to see them, and also be­cause that means we’re es­pe­cially pleased that it’s a great read as well.

Saf­fron is just an­other teenager try­ing to cope with abu­sive class­mates and un­car­ing teach­ers be­fore she fol­lows a strange woman through a por­tal into an­other realm. Sud­denly she’s in­volved in con­spir­a­cies and coups, helped by a col­lec­tion of ex­iles and courtiers and queens, in a coun­try about to col­lapse into civil war. She wants to help her new friends, but she also wants to get home.

The book never shies away from dif­fi­cult ques­tions or con­se­quences, the emo­tional trauma of bat­tle or the re­al­i­ties of Saf­fron’s aban­doned fam­ily, and is all the bet­ter for it. Al­most inevitably it’s the first in a se­ries, but with in­tel­li­gent, well­re­alised char­ac­ters and ex­cel­lent world build­ing, we can’t wait for the sec­ond. Rhian Drinkwater

The au­thor’s real name is Philippa. She smiled a lot as a baby, so her dad nick­named her “Foz” af­ter Fozzie Bear.

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