By Ceridwen Dovey
192 pages. Viking.
A debut novel with the flavor of a fable, Ceridwen Dovey's Blood Kin (Viking) takes place in a nameless country in the throes of revolution. Imprisoned in the deposed president's summer palace, three of his minions—his portraitist, his chef, and his barber—wrestle with their own cutthroat emotions in the twisted corridors of power. Dovey's surgical prose and cool apprehension of the machinations of ambition and lust make her a writer to watch.