* Winner, King Car Fantasy Fiction Prize
As an interstellar war drags on, a young wife moves to an island community near the front lines to be closer to her husband, a mutant whose abilities curse him to a career in the army. The inaugural winner of the King Car Fantasy Fiction Prize blends fantasy and romance in an energetic, moving story.
As an interplanetary war between two civilizations wears on, a young woman named Ni-Chih moves to an island community near the front lines to be closer to her husband. Sweethearts since childhood, the pair have held onto love despite a beautiful yet hopeless condition: her husband, Yu, is a “kite warrior”, a mutant who can transform into an enormous bird of prey. Looked down upon by mainstream society, kite warriors are immensely important to the war effort, because the enemy’s population centers hang suspended in midair.
While the island community is unfamiliar, Ni-Chih delights in being close to her husband again. The two resolve to start a family, and they have a son not long after. Yet, as Ni-Chih familiarizes herself with the island and its society, she finds dangerous secrets hiding in every dark corner; and when the interminable war takes a sudden turn for the worse, she and Yu discover that the decision to move families to the front lines was not made with the soldiers’ well-being in mind.
Lee Wei-han’s breakout novel, winner of the inaugural King Car Fantasy Fiction Prize, blends elements of complicated, tragic romance into a high-energy narrative of interplanetary conflict, simultaneously speaking to the emotional, social, and imaginative aspects of the human psyche.