It took me a few chapters to get past my innate "but this author writes SCIENCE FICTION and it's really GOOD science fiction and FULL OF CRUNCHY BITS and THIS IS NOT THAT" reaction. Once I simmered down, I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy story. The worldbuilding is well-worked out but didn't get in the way of what is essentially a character drama. Excellent, and I'm looking forward to sequels.
Dawn Light, by Diane Ackerman
I don't think I gave this book its due. I usually love Diane Ackerman's highly digressive, adjective-laden style, but most of her books that I've read tie that style to a very strong through-line and this one is, instead, very short pieces tied together by nothing more pervasive than a meandering seasonal progression through very many dawns, and ideas somehow connected to morning or the sun or dew or ... I needed a sharper focus than this book had, but I don't feel like it's the book's fault. If I was in a more meditative, in-the-moment, sort of mood when I read it I would have liked it more. There were a few pieces which grabbed my attention and made me swoon: one on flying with cranes, one on rain, and a couple about bees. Still, I think even if I weren't all distracted, I would rather have read another one of her books that DO have the strong throughline... good thing I have a (small) unread hoard of those upstairs.