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SFF Author: C.L. Polk

C. L. Polk wrote her first story in grade school and still hasn’t learned any better. After spending years in strange occupations and wandering western Canada, she settled in southern Alberta and is here to stay. She has a fondness for knitting, bicycles, and single estate coffee. C. L. has had short stories published in Baen’s UNIVERSE and Gothic.net, and contributed to the web serial Shadow Unit. She spends too much time on twitter at @clpolk.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE STORIES BY C.L. POLK.



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Witchmark: Delightful detective tale and a sweet, magical love story

Witchmark by C.L. Polk

C.L. Polk’s debut novel, Witchmark (2018), book one in THE KINGSTON CYCLE, was a delight to read. It’s a second-world fantasy set in country a lot like Britain at a time a lot like the end of World War I, with seriously traumatized soldiers returning to Aeland after the end of the nation’s successful war with Laneer. There are some important differences. Aeland’s war was purely one of conquest, and Aeland’s world has magic.

Miles Singer was a soldier and a doctor in the war,


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Stormsong: A gripping, thought-provoking sequel

Stormsong by C.L. Polk

2020’s Stormsong, in THE KINGSTON CYCLE is the long-awaited sequel to C.L. Polk’s wonderful Witchmark. This review may contain spoilers for Witchmark.

Witchmark followed Miles, a doctor and former prisoner of war, and a member of his world’s faerie race, the Amaranthine, as they solved a murder, uncovered a plot to assassinate Aeland’s queen, and revealed the murderous corruption that lay at the root of Aeland’s magical progress.


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Soulstar: The culmination is chilling and triumphant

Soulstar by C.L. Polk 

“The knock came an hour after we had put up the stormboards and battened down to wait it out.”

With her opening sentence, C.L. Polk starts the action of Soulstar (2021), book three in her KINGSTON CYCLE. And the action rolls on through the first chapter at a breathless pace, with changes that push Robin Thorpe of the Clan of the Peaceful Waters into the spotlight, as she becomes a leader for societal change,


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The Midnight Bargain: A charming frolic of a book

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk 

By the bottom of the second full page of text, when the protagonist of The Midnight Bargain (2020) walked into Harriman’s Bookshop, I was hooked. When Beatrice Clayborn entered the second-hand shop and I saw it through her eyes, the book claimed me, not unlike the way a spirit might claim a sorceress in Beatrice’s magical world.

It’s bargaining season, or marriage season in Beatrice’s world, and young women of the upper classes, like Beatrice, jostle and compete for the hand of a suitable husband.


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Even Though I Knew the End: Powerful setting and period piece

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

Let me start with what I loved about C.L. Polk’s 2022 novella, Even Though I Knew the End. I loved the premise of the magical system at play here, and the story delivered a 1940s Chicago, Illinois, that was both familiar and convincingly strange. The Wink, a lesbian bar that has rolled through several incarnations in its lifetime, is a sheer delight of evocative description.

I liked the fast-moving plot and Polk’s spin on the hard-boiled detective story.


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Next SFF Author: James Polster
Previous SFF Author: Daniel Polansky

We have reviewed 8298 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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