Margaret Taylor

Margaret Taylor is a writer who has made several of her fantasy stories available as free audiobooks.

Nasan Rattlingbones was supposed to die. That's what exile means in a post-apocalyptic Canada that hasn't seen rain in almost two hundred years, but this disgraced clan warrior has other plans. She will survive alone in the wasteland of junipers and broken, haunted cities – just as soon as she figures out how. Enter Oscar, a strange bird who claims to be her spirit guide but can't quite prove it. She doesn't believe a word when he says she's been chosen by the Stars to save the world.

Oscar may not be what Nasan hoped for in a spirit guide, but he does find her a place to stay with the rich people who've built a walled city around their very own reservoir. She tries to build a new life there while dogged by the memories of the botched water raid that killed half her clan.

The angel-like Stars who rule the universe reconsider Earth's drought-curse once every century. The human race gets just one witness for the defense – and the throne at Calgary wants to send a man who will forfeit rain for universal passage to Heaven. Nasan needs to help her newfound friends stop Calgary, but she just as desperately needs to get home and face down the chieftain who wrongly banished her. Meanwhile she's beginning to suspect that Oscar is in on some sort of heavenly conspiracy. Whether he's telling the truth or not, she may just have to step up to the challenge and save the world anyway.

In the Republic of Corvain, anybody who has a hint of magical power is rounded up and thrown into prison. They're doing it to defend the new nation, says the revolutionary government – defend it from the sorcerers and sorceresses who used to be the lackeys of the man-eating Auks in the bad old days of the monarcy. When Grizelda, a young seamstress from the poorer part of the capitol city, suddenly finds herself the government's target, she fears she is done for.

But in prison she meets a group of rat-riding pixies and earns their undying friendship by mending their clothes. In exchange, they help her to escape and seek refuge in the world below the city. Living underground means Grizelda has to adapt to the strange customs of the goblins, a cheerless bunch who storm around muttering about the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Not content to remain in exile, Grizelda winds up entangled with a group of human revolutionaries. Together they hatch a daring plan to return the Republic to its original ideals, before it decayed into a police state. If their plan is going to work, Grizelda will have to get Communist goblins, irresponsible pixies, and revolutionaries still deeply mistrustful of magic to work together.