Thursday, October 29, 2015

Waters of Versailles, by Kelly Robson

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Sylvain de Guilherand secretly uses a captive water spirit to provide indoor plumbing to Louis XV's Versailles, but the spirit is childish, playful, and getting bored. (18,872 words; Time: 1h:02m)

Rating: ★★★★★, Award-Worthy

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Once the story gets rolling, it goes very fast. Sylvain goes from treating the nixie as a thing to treating her as a daughter, and yet the process is portrayed so masterfully that we believe it completely. The hints that Sylvain missed his homeland nicely foreshadow the ending, as do Annette's repeated suggestions that he doesn't know who he really is. His very name suggests the woods. The ending, then, is a triumph, not a disaster.

An especially nice touch is that when things start to fall apart and Sylvain draws his sword, his friend GΓ©rard stands beside him and draws as well. GΓ©rard has no idea what's going on--he only knows his place is at Sylvain's side. Sylvain, knowing he's about to unleash a flood in the palace, shows GΓ©rard the same loyalty--warning him to escort his pregnant wife out before the stampede starts.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I agree with the rating and the review. It is a very good story.

  2. The author, Kelly Robson, is eligible to be nominated for the Campbell award.

    1. Good to know. When the Campbell Award page updates it's list of eligible authors for 2016, we'll generate a table of their stories that were reviewed on RSR.

  3. Podcast at PodCastle: