Mischievous Mercurio guards the planet Mercury - his sacred charge - with quirky devotion. He loves the oddball chunk of rock, with its illusion of retrograde motion and its out-of-sync orbit and spin.
Almost as much as he loves playing pranks.
But when Earth's guardian Gaia bids Mercurio to organize a circus act for Sol's birthday celebration, the joke's on him.
While Mercurio wangles his way around the captious refusals of his would-be stilt-walkers and clowns - "No, no, and no!" - the somber guardian of Pluto plots a darker scheme.
With the subtle delight, clever misdirection, and teasing wordplay that Mercurio himself enjoys, J.M.Ney-Grimm tells a tale of steeply rising stakes in a clockwork solar system ruled by the gods of ancient Rome.
PRAISE FOR J.M. NEY-GRIMM
"It's no secret...that I have favourite writers. J.M. Ney-Grimm is one of them, and with good reason-her writing style is unique, and engrossing." - James J. Parsons, Speaking to the Eyes
..".Ney-Grimm paints a vivid, lush picture worthy of the Peter Jackson treatment." D.J. Gelner, reader review
..".the world depicted is magical, but the people are very real." - Mary Anna Dunn, reader review
"Her work compares favorably with Robin McKinley and Patricia McKillip ...I'm really pleased to have discovered her!" - Mira, reader review
EXCERPT FROM DEVOURING LIGHT
Crack! The two snaky tails snapped silver lightning past Mercurio's nose.
He jumped and laughed.
"Have a care there, Draco. Who would trust a thief without comeliness? You'll bankrupt me faster than a con man!"
The hissing roar of Draco's voice replied, "Younger cousin, 'tis you who sought me." And his tails cracked again, powerful, muscular, scaled in cold burning silver stars.
Mercurio dodged, tripped on the rumpled midnight folds of sky underfoot, barked his shins against a star remnant fixed inconveniently in midair, and swore.
"Cronos! You could tidy your lair!"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.M. Ney-Grimm lives with her husband and children in Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She's learning about permaculture gardening and debunking popular myths about food. The rest of the time she reads Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lois McMaster Bujold, plays boardgames like Settlers of Catan, rears her twins, and writes stories set in her troll-infested North-lands.show more