Desdemona and the Deep by C. S. E. Cooney
I won't lie; I was partially drawn to this one because of that blurb on the cover by Patricia A. McKillip (she is one of my absolute favorite authors, and if you've never read anything by her, you should fix that). Book Description: The spoiled daughter of a rich mining family must retrieve the tithe of men her father promised to the world below. On the surface, her world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy. Desdemona and the Deep was interesting in that it didn't stick with the typical high fantasy setting of some medieval European kingdom. The civilization was much more advanced (telephones, ambulances, etc.), but it was most certainly not our world. At the same time, other worlds full of goblins, gentry (think fairies), and all sorts of other creatures and things exist.
(This is actually a good comp. title for my own books, because I've written a few that also stray from the typical medieval Europe setting).
Story-wise, I wish this one were longer. It followed a natural path of, "this happened, so now this will happen, now we need to do this," and the characters simply do that. The story moves very quickly and was over much too soon, which I'm sure the author intended. I would've liked to spend more time in the world(s), though, and actually see more of the world(s). It does look like the author has written more stories and novellas in the same setting, so I may give them a try. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would read it again.
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