Singer of Souls

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Recently read Adam Stemple’s Singer of Souls, a 2005 urban fantasy that is pretty impressive for a first novel.  The protagonist is Doug, a street musician and junkie who is trying to quit his habit. He decides to go away to Scotland and stay with his Gran, who warily takes him in. Things seem to be going well until he meets a strange, beautiful woman who gives him the ability to see fairies, bogies, goblins and many more, who come to Edinburg every year for a trade fair. This is a pause in their usual state of war in their own world, when hostilities are suspended for a time.  But humans, especially humans who can see them, are always fair game. She gives him the Sight as part of a plan, but her schemes go awry at the end. The bantering, light tone of the first-person narration masks the fact that this is really a pretty dark fantasy, on the order of Adam Corby, Matthew Stover or some of KEW’s tales. I think most Howard fans would like it, even if it does have elves. They’re not nice elves. It also sports a nice Charles Vess cover, which complements the novel well.