Baen, Jul 3 2012, $24.00
An orphan from Pittsburgh, Tinker knows the second order effect of her actions left 60,000 Steeler (and Pirate) residents isolated in the Ghostlands rather than Pennsylvania. Tinker’s cousin Orville “Oilcan” Wright notices a young female Stone Clan elf drumming with olianuni sticks in front of a soda machine in the train station. He warns her that Pittsburgh has become dangerous, but Merry the elf insists she has a letter to give to the Earth Son. Oilcan informs her that the Earth Son is dead. He escorts her to the Stone Clan embassy where Thorne Scratch tells him to keep her safe. She soon joins the Naekanain band of mixed breed musicians.
At the same time Tinker’s mate, Wolf Who Rules Wind invites former slave, Oni hybrid leader Tommy Chang and his brethren to join the Wind Clan as Beholden. Tommy distrusts the Windwolf’s motives, but Jin Shoji the Tengu freed from captivity by Tinker suggests the Wind Clan leader offers the Oni a seat at a special table. As he considers what the Tengu says, Tommy searches the forest for oni.
The latest Elfhome fantasy widens the super Spencer world as other species like the purebred stranded humans, the Tengu and the hybrid Oni take the lead from elves; even the featured elves focus on other clans besides the Wind Clan in this entertaining story line. The prime subplots are the coming of age of Oilcan and Tommy as responsibility for the well-being of others makes you mature rather quickly. Character driven by racism triggered by a history of hostilities including genocide, fans will enjoy meeting the other species as major change has come to the Ghostlands with many preferring the pre Tinker status quo.