by Nancy Baker
With them, there are no happy endings.
In the remote city of Lushan, they know that the Fey are not fireside tales but a dangerous reality.
Generations ago, the last remnants of a dying empire bargained with the Faerie Queen for a place of safety in the mountains and each year the ruler of Lushan must travel to the high plateau to pay the city’s tribute. When an unexpected misfortune means that the traditional price is not met, the Queen demands the services of Teresine, once a refugee slave and now advisor to the Sidiana. Teresine must navigate the treacherous politics of the Faerie Court, where the Queen’s will determines reality and mortals are merely pawns in an eternal struggle for power.
Years later, another young woman faces an unexpected decision that forces her to discover the truth of what happened to Teresine in the Faerie Court, a truth that could threaten everything she loves.
From the acclaimed author of The Night Inside and A Terrible Beauty comes a new novel about the price of safety and the cost of power.
Praise for Nancy Baker
“Cold Hillside is a very smart and entertaining fantasy novel that met and exceeded my expectations going in to the novel. While there is very little action in the book, it is very well written and thought provoking so that I never got bored as I read this longer novel. Baker takes the fantasy genre and turns it on its ear. There is magic and chivalry in the novel but they do not overwhelm the story. There is even a fair amount of political and familial intrigue that fans of Game of Thrones have come to love in Cold Hillside but it never bogs the story down. Cold Hillside is a very smart fantasy that does not draw the reader into the world of the fantastic but rather makes the fantastic real. I used to be a huge fan of the fantasy genre when I was younger but have drifted from it to some extent as I aged. Baker is able to capture that sense of enchantment that I used to feel when reading fantasy and transported me to a somewhat magical time in my life through this novel. Cold Hillside is sure to please fans of fantasy but I would dare anyone to pick up this book and not enjoy it.”
—Josef Hernandez, Examiner.com
“Baker’s style combines, or alternates between, traditional realism and fantasy; realism with its developed, motivated, complex characters; plots which attempt to reflect life as we live it; and straightforward, transparent prose—and fantasy, with its more stereotyped characterizations; stylized story lines; and formal, sometimes poetic language. The latter style is more prominent in the part of the novel which flash back to ancient Japan, where the prose lilts gracefully.”
“Nancy Baker writes about the vampires next door . . . they bicker over petty, everyday things. They are jealous when a partner flirts with someone. They worry about paying the rent . . . ‘They’re Canadian,’ she says.”
—The Vancouver Sun
“Baker evokes the various figures from Japanese culture familiar in the West—yakuza, samurai and medieval court ladies and their pillow books—but she goes beyond clichés and invests these characters with a solidity and poignancy that contrast sharply with the simpler Canadian horror of The Night Inside. This is a more contemplative offering, and while it is not always successful, it has moments of great effectiveness. Ardeth’s nocturnal cross-country hitchhiking trip is particularly noteworthy for its undercurrents of violence and loneliness.”