Title: Colina de Lavanada (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: August Li
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Fantasy/Paranormal, Holidays
Page Count: 50 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Lord protector of whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants.
Owning a parcel of land the railroad needs to cross means Edward gets to run the border town around the station as he sees fit. What starts as a place to indulge his varied appetites becomes a haven to society’s castoffs, and if Edward encourages legends about its founder to flourish, well, he’s not so much a liar as a man who wants to protect all the cultures living in peace. Being mayor means folks might ignore his vices, but they also expect him to fix what goes wrong.
When a crushing heat wave and drought threaten not only the town’s diverse holiday celebrations but its very existence, Edward must turn to the one man he’d rather french kiss a timber rattler than face—the icily elegant Cantonese mage Edward walked out on but never stopped loving.
Stay with me here … but reading August Li is like seeing a Cirque du Soleil production. It’s mystical and magical and unexpected, but trying to describe it to someone else is really hard. “Colina de Lavanada” features a town created for “whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants” where everyone is accepted and all holidays are observed. Li adds a dash of magic and native folklore, a mysterious illness, a love story between Edward and a silver-haired mage Shu and the end result is fascinating … but darned if I know how to describe it! 4.5 stars.