Tufa series by Alex Bledsoe. Published 10th April, 2018 by Tor Books, it's 368 pages and available in ebook, hardback and audiobook formats.
I had read some of the stories and other shorter fiction by the author, but hadn't read any of the Tufa books since the first one. The author's writing is exceptional and lyrical. Comparisons to Faulkner aren't amiss.
I've always been a huge fan of folklore and especially Appalachian folklore and music (I grew up in WV and my own family are mostly Irish and Scots). This book pushed all my buttons. It's liberally laced and richly interspersed with music and poetry and lyrics mined out of a rich vein of folklore.
I'm generally not too much of a fan of the plot device of alternate storylines; they generally detract instead of really building. If the author is careful to make the jumps clear enough, it's very difficult to make the jumps seamless enough to actually move the plot along in the parallel stories. Bledsoe manages, and very well. This is a story inside a story inside a story and the jumps are engineered very well.
The melancholy and dark feel of this book added to the overall longing and tension. It was deftly done. The quality of this book has inspired me to go read the earlier books. I have a huge enough pile of books to be read (TBR mountain, quips my family), that my being inspired to go back and read or re-read a series happens very very rarely. Well played, Mr. Bledsoe, well played.
Four and a half stars, rounded up for exceptionally masterful plotting and writing.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.