Air Logic

Laurie J. Marks  - published June 2019

trade paper · 400 pages · $17 · 9781618731609 | ebook · 9781618731616

The fourth and final novel in the award winning Elemental Logic series.

Locus Notable Books

Fire Logic · Earth Logic · Water Logic · Air Logic

Laurie J. Marks returns at last to Shaftal for the long-awaited conclusion to her acclaimed series. Karis and those who love her must figure out, in the aftermath of war and an assassination attempt, how to bring together Sainnites and Shaftali in a country where old wounds and enmities fester and Air magic conceals the treason hidden in the heart of the G’deon’s household. When Medric is taken hostage to force Karis’s hand, a strange boy will guide Zanja to the place where she may yet save him, a mother must remember the son she has been made to forget, and Air children will find what their place in the world may yet be.

“If you’ve been looking for an exciting, thoughtful, queer, diverse, politically aware, complex, timely, beautifully written saga of a fascinating world and set of characters, here it is.”
— Delia Sherman


“You might not believe me, but this is the truth: Laurie J. Marks’s Elemental Logic books are as good as Elena Ferrante’s monumental Neapolitan Quartet. They achieve the same depth, the same spellbinding quality, and the same sense of falling entire into a world on the page, tethered to real life by the sure hand of a master writer. They expose a talent as mighty as Le Guin’s for building intricate moral dilemmas inside fantasy universes, for creating characters the reader will remember for decades, and for presenting solutions that amount to much more than throwing soldiers or magic at the problem. These books are a profound achievement in fantasy literature.” — Katherine Coldiron, Locus

“Not everyone survives, and no one survives unscathed. . . . The discipline of hope relies on communal life and love, doing the hard work of coming together and staying together across differences in culture, belief, conviction. Marks time and time again refuses pessimism or grim acquiescence in favor of insisting that, while some people might be monsters, the far greater portion have the capacity for good. There is real power in the dedicated, intentional, thoughtful project of hope with a steel core. The Elemental Logic series provides a compelling, thorough argument in its favor, one I’ve enjoyed reading from beginning to end and which left me cautiously optimistic about the world in which I’d like to keep striving toward a more survivable future.” — Lee Mandelo,

“The entire series is highly recommended to anyone looking for a series that presents not only a queer fantasy world, but also one of the most well-wrought and engaging fantasy worlds out there.” — Booklist (starred review)

“Marks brings her much-loved, long-unavailable Elemental Logic series (most recently 2007’s Water Logic, and all recently republished by Small Beer) to a superb finale. . .  an extraordinary fantasy saga that’s well worth revisiting or exploring for the first time.” — Publishers Weekly

“Shaftal is a convincing world, lovingly detailed and fiercely envisioned. Marks’ characters are so real. . . . as the last note in a familiar melody, this book rings true. A final book that stays true to the spirit of the whole, sending readers out of Shaftal on a high note.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Marks (Water Logic) draws a satisfying conclusion to this quartet of novels perfect for readers of K. Arsenault Rivera and previous fans of the series.”
Library Journal

The Elemental Logic series:

Fire Logic
Elemental Logic: Book 1
Spectrum Award winner
Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award nominee

The martial Sainnites have occupied Shaftal for fifteen years. Every year the cost of resistance rises. Emil, an officer and scholar; Zanja, a diplomat and last survivor of her people; and Karis, a metalsmith, half-blood giant, and an addict, can only watch as their country falls into lawlessness and famine. Together, perhaps they can change the course of history.

Read an excerpt.
Listen to the author read Chapter 1: part 1 · part 2

Reviews for Fire Logic

“Marks is an absolute master of fantasy in this book. Her characters are beautifully drawn, showing tremendous emotional depth and strength as they endure the unendurable and strive always to do the right thing, and her unusual use of the elemental forces central to her characters’ lives gives the book a big boost. This is read-it-straight-through adventure!” — Booklist (Starred Review)

“Marks has created a work filled with an intelligence that zings off the page.” — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A deftly painted story of both cultures and magics in conflict. Marks avoids the black-and-white conflicts of generic fantasy to offer a window on a complex world of unique cultures and elemental magic.” — Robin Hobb

“Marks vividly describes a war-torn land, and the depth of character development makes this novel a page-turner.” — VOYA

“A glorious cast of powerful, compelling, and appealingly vulnerable characters struggling to do the right thing in a world gone horribly wrong. I couldn’t put this down until I’d read it to the end. Marks truly understands the complex forces of power, desire, and obligation.” — Nalo Hopkinson

Earth Logic
Elemental Logic: Book 2
Spectrum Award winner

The second book of Shaftal. The country has a ruler again, a woman who can heal the war-torn land and expel the invaders. But she lives in obscurity with her fractious found family. With war and disease spreading, she must act. And when she does, the very stones of the earth sit up and take notice.

Read an excerpt.
Listen to the author read Chapter 2 or “Raven’s Joke”

Reviews for Earth Logic

“Marks produces another stunner of a book. The powerful but subtle writing glows with intelligence, and the passionate, fierce, articulate, strong, and vital characters are among the most memorable in contemporary fantasy, though not for the faint of heart.” — Booklist (Starred Review)

“The struggle for the world of Shaftal is far from finished in Marks’s stirring, intricately detailed sequel. . . . Full of love and humor as well as war and intrigue, this well-crafted epic fantasy will delight existing fans as surely as it will win new ones.” — Publishers Weekly

Water Logic
Elemental Logic: Book 3

Amid assassinations, rebellions, and the pyres of too many dead, a new government forms in the land of Shaftal—a government of soldiers and farmers, scholars and elemental talents, all weary of war and longing for peace. But some cannot forget their losses, and some cannot imagine a place for themselves in an enemy land.

Read the first chapter.
Listen to the author read Chapter 1: part 1 · part 2

Reviews for Water Logic

“How gifts from the past, often unknown or unacknowledged, bless future generations; how things that look like disasters or mistakes may be parts of a much bigger pattern that produces greater, farther-reaching good results.” —Booklist (Starred Review)

“Finely drawn characters and a lack of bias toward sexual orientation make this a thoughtful, challenging read.” — Library Journal

“Marks’s characters are real people who breathe and sleep and sweat and love; the food has flavor and the landscape can break your heart. You don’t find this often in any contemporary fiction, much less in fantasy: a world you can plunge yourself into utterly and live in with great delight, while the pages turn, and dream of after.” — Ellen Kushner

Map of Shaftal by Jeanne Gomoll.

On the web:


Laurie J. Marks’s (website) Elemental Logic series received multiple starred reviews and the first two both won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award. She lives in central Massachusetts and teaches at the University of Massachusetts.


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