The Ballad of Perilous Graves Summary and Reviews

The Ballad of Perilous Graves

by Alex Jennings

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings X
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings
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Book Summary

Music is magic in this vibrant and imaginative debut novel set in a fantastical version of New Orleans where a battle for the city's soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song.

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women help keep the order. To those from Away, Nola might seem strange. To Perilous Graves, it's simply home.

In a world of everyday miracles, Perry might not have a talent for magic, but he does know Nola's rhythm as intimately as his own heartbeat. So when the city's Great Magician starts appearing in odd places and essential songs are forgotten, Perry realizes trouble is afoot.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the piano that maintains the city's beat, and without them, Nola will fail. Unwilling to watch his home be destroyed, Perry will sacrifice everything to save it. But a storm is brewing, and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Nola's time might be coming to an end.

Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy this song for New Orleans, the city of music, magic, and dreams.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Magic and music—here 'one and the same'—bring to life a vibrant alternate New Orleans in Jennings's stunning urban fantasy debut...Jennings develops a rich, enveloping world brimming with mesmerizing art, music, and fantasy, and sets within it a rich discussion of community and culture. The unmistakable love for New Orleans that emanates from these pages will stick in readers' heads—and hearts—like the catchiest of tunes." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Jennings weaves a brilliant tapestry...With wonderful imagery—living graffiti and personified songs and zombie nutria—and an emphasis on the importance of family, history, and music, The Ballad of Perilous Graves is a remarkable debut." - Booklist (starred review)

"Vital and appealing, vibrant and propulsive. Alex Jennings weaves together three of my favorite things — music, New Orleans, and magic. The Ballad of Perilous Graves is exactly what I wanted to read." - Kelly Link

"A hallucinatory wonder of a debut with hints of dark humor and the intellectual challenge of Samuel Delaney. Brimming with language and music, this phantasmagoric novel taps the deep root of multi-cultural, multi-racial life in, and beyond, New Orleans. It's an electrifying trip with zombie cabbies, sentient blues songs, parading graffiti tags, and the child mages Perilous 'Perry' Graves, his sister Brendy and their best friend Peaches who must outwit, outstomp, and outplay to save NOLA's, their city's, our city's, soul." - Walter Mosley, New York Times bestselling author

"Alex Jennings did not come here to play. He came to swing, stride, and make prose sing. This novel is funny, wild, witty, and profound. The Ballad of Perilous Graves is the debut of a cosmic storm of talent." - Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

This information about The Ballad of Perilous Graves was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Alex Jennings

Alex Jennings is a teacher, author, and performer living in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in strangehorizons.com, podcastle, The Peauxdunque Review, Obsidian Lit, the Locus Award-winning Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, and in numerous anthologies.

His debut collection, Here I Come and Other Stories was released in 2012. He also serves as MC and co-producer of Dogfish, a monthly literary readings series. He is a graduate of Clarion West (2003) and the University of New Orleans. He was born in Wiesbaden (Germany) and raised in Gaborone (Botswana), Paramaribo (Surinam), and Tunis (Tunisia) as well as the United States. He is an afternoon person.

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