In addition to the return of heroic fantasy, stories-within-stories Scheherazade-style are back in vogue, which is good for Gregory Frost and his Shadowbridge, because not only is his protagonist, Leodora, a story collector and teller, but everyone lives on a huge bridge that is for all intents and purposes the world, as there's nothing beneath but endless seas. To call the premise audacious would be an understatement, and yet it's the stories and the characters that reign here, not the concept, for all the glitter. Leodora, fleeing her past, is a very real person, and her adventures and perils are also real. The idea of the naming of things and people being important, the idea of stories being not frivolous but vital, drives the engine of the plot. A cavalcade of other characters, from Leodora's manager to her musical companion, also provide depth. The inclusion of gos and much of wonder in the setting is certainly a bonus, but almost isn't necessary. The only real shame about Shadowbridge, however, is that it's clearly part one of a novel cut into two parts (for marketing reasons?), with the second half to be published in 2008.
All I can say is, fear not, Jeff, the second half will be published just six months after the first half, enough times to read it once, or even twice.
Note: This post duplicates one on my Livejournal page.