In honor of all regions experiencing out-of-season, scary, or just plain bizarre weather events this week, this Tuesday List features books or series in which weather is the focus.
1. The Kingston Cycle
It’s pub day for Soulstar, the third book in C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle trilogy, and weather has been the driving force, you might say, for the entire world. The books revolve around a cabal of sorcerers whose very existence is what’s keeping the nation of Aeland afloat. Without them protecting their lands from the storms which would otherwise wipe them off the map, they couldn’t survive, much less become one of the most powerful monarchies in the world. These novels revolve around Miles Singer, his sister Dame Grace Hensley, and his friend Robin Thorpe, all magic users, trying to right the wrongs of the past and salvage the country.
2. The Spiritwalker Trilogy
In Kate Elliott’s series, “an alternate, post-fall-of-Rome historical-European, proto-steampunk fantasy with fairies and magic,” (https://www.thebooksmugglers.com/2020/12/when-i-grow-up-by-kate-elliott-a-spiritwalker-short-story.html), magic and weather are closely intertwined. Cold mages live in cold climates, need special architecture to support their need for cold. Fire mages live in hot climates. Plus their are feathered dinosaurs and a spirit world that the main character must navigate in order to figure out and come to terms with her heritage.
3. Parable of the Sower
Drought is the main weather/climate concern in Octavia E. Butler’s prescient dystopian novel, where rich people live in secure compounds and poor people live in close-knit communities that nevertheless can be torn apart at the whims of violent outcasts or those from other settlements who just want a little more.
Plenty of novels deal with alien planets/climates, but Emma Newman’s Planetfall series, and the titular first book, tend to stick in my head. Planetfall is the story of a generation ship that has made the perilous journey to a planet light-years away, and attempts to set up community. The main character is an engineer whose job is to maintain the 3D printers that basically keep everyone alive by providing building materials, food, clothing, everything. But Ren has a dark secret that has followed her across the stars.
5. Trail of Lightning
The first novel in Rebecca Roanhorse’s Sixth World series is set in Navajo territory after a world event called the Big Water, an apocalyptic flood that killed millions and left the North American continent divided into tiny oases of community amidst desert and other inhospitable climates. Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter, a magic wielder, who must take on gods and monsters in a quest to protect her people from a witch who has given rise to a new sort of monster for his own deadly ends.