In Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey we are thrown back into the world of River of Teeth with Houndstooth trying to find his love, Hero after the barnstorming events of River of Teeth. Along for the ride are crowd favourites Archie and Adelia. However, they aren’t really along for the ride—Archie and Adelia make this book; they are magnificent and their story just grabs you by the collar and does not let go.
Our four protagonists are teamed up and on the road in two teams: Hero and Adelia, and Archie and Houndstooth. Hero thinks Houndstooth is gone and is waiting for the right time to ditch Adelia and head off on his own, while Houndstooth is driving himself and Archie mad trying to find Hero. Then, somebody takes something very important from Adelia, and we are very swiftly swept up into an absolutely barnstorming story that has you surging through the pages of this novella until the satisfying end.
Sarah Gailey weaves such a brilliant tale with her imagination and tight writing. The characters leap off the page astride their hippos (something else that is just so damned cool in this frontier world of hers) and just grab you. Honestly, there is an amazing army of brilliant character creators out there at the moment making people leap off the page, and Gailey would be in their front rank.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was that it felt a bit info-dumpy at the start. As a follow up to the absolutely phenomenal River of Teeth it needs some history but it felt a bit unnecessarily jammed in there at times. But honestly, I’m nitpicking. This is a brilliant book.
Taste of Marrow is yet another excellent novella from Sarah Gailey and Tor.com, one that I’m sure most fantasy fans will enjoy. It’s not Grimdark, nor does it claim to be, but I assure you that most readers will find this an enjoyable story and world driven by an absolutely magnificent cast of characters.