In Constance Coopers Guile, Yonie Watereye makes a living as a “pearly,” a person who can sense magic, or “Guile,” in objects and people. The catch is that the real pearly is her slybeast cat, LaRue, who, after nearly being drowned as a kitten, developed the ability to not only sense guile, but talk.
The novel takes place in the fictional locale of Wicked Ford, which calls to mind bayou country in Louisiana. The Low Town residents speak with an accent, while the denizens of High Town speak with more refinement. Much of the city is built above water, because of the high water, and so Yonie paddles her boat, the Dragonfly, all around the city.
LaRue is almost always with her, and the two—a pair of orphans who have made a sort of family together—make their way as best they can. Yonie protects LaRue from detection as a slybeast, and LaRue does her best to protect Yonie from people who would take advantage of her.
Yonie’s reputation as a pearly spreads, and a young student at Bellflower Academy for Young Ladies in High Town, Justine Cordell (who happens to be the daughter of the headmaster) solicits her for help when her father begins to behave in a very strange way. This chance solicitation opens many doors for Yonie, including one into a part of her past that she did not even know existed.
Sixteen-year-old Yonie learns many truths about herself, her family, and the intricacies of the workings of society in Wicked Ford and High Town. She also learns to trust her cousin, Gilbert, as they search for answers about her great-aunt Nettie and the many adventures she had.
Guile will leave the reader wanting to know more about Wicked Ford and the history of the two originating cultures, which seem very grounded in magical beings known as “chiridou.”
About the Book:
Author: Constance Cooper
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Yonie Watereye lives in the bayou. The water there is full of guile, a power that changes people and objects. Yonie, 16, makes a living investigating objects affected by guile, but in fact it’s her talking cat, LaRue, who has the power to see guile.
Yonie becomes aware that someone is sending harmful guile-changed objects to certain people, including herself. Her investigation becomes entwined with her hunt for the secrets of her mother’s past and leads her to discover dangers hidden within her own family.
In the suspenseful adventure that follows, Yonie and her furry sidekick face challenges that could end their adventuring forever.
Constance’s fantasy novel Guile will be published March 1, 2016 by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Guile is set in the Bad Bayous, where the water makes strange and unpredictable changes to things (or animals, or people) that soak too long.
Constance’s short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and various other publications. Her work has been podcast, translated into Swedish and Hebrew, and included in “Best Of” anthologies. She also writes sf poetry, and has twice been nominated for the Rhysling Award.
Constance grew up mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, with one year spent in Surrey, England and a chunk of another spent in Newfoundland, Canada. She studied journalism at UC Santa Cruz, where she hiked to class through redwood forest, explored secret caves, and helped edit the college newspaper. Later she earned an MA in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, and stayed on in Philadelphia working on a linguistic research project before getting sucked into the brand-new world of website design.
After Constance met her husband, they moved to Edinburgh, Scotland for two years, where she morphed into a software engineer. Just as she’d acclimated to saying “beeta testing” and “proh-cessor,” she and her husband returned to the Bay Area to work for a natural language search company.
Now Constance lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children, and is enjoying ever-increasing time to write the kind of stories she’s always loved. Her published science fiction so far has all been set on alien planets, and often told from alien viewpoints (including reptilian, mammalian, and crustacean analogues.) In writing fantasy, she’s attracted to inventive, nonstandard settings, light touches of humor, and just pure adventurous fun. Constance’s writing also shows the influence of her love for mysteries.
Giveaway Details: 3 winners will receive a finished copy of GUILE, US only. Enter the giveaway here!
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