Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Weapons In The Earth, by Myke Cole

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(High Fantasy) Twig's small band of goblins has been captured by a larger group. They need to escape, but the winter weather is bad, and Twig's magic is still "soft." (15,200 words; Time: 50m)

Rating: ★★★★☆, Recommended

"Weapons In The Earth," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in Operation Arcana (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The story is about how Twig becomes a man, which in his case includes gaining control of his magic as well as escaping from (and even slaying) the Gibberer. Twig does his best to protect the cattle (aka "kine"), his elderly mentor, and the other members of his band, and even though things gradually get worse, it's not for lack of trying. And yet it is his very trying that keeps him from controlling his magic. Only when he has no more hope and has given up does he finally still himself enough.

There were plenty of hints that the Gibberer had no interest in the kine but rather wanted to know the secret to find the Black-Horns and catch them unaware, but it still came as a bit of a surprise, since Twig himself had been so sure they wanted the cows.

It was particularly fitting that Clover brought a new life into the world and that it was she who took the Gibberer out of it.

Con: For all that, we never really feel strongly attached to the goblins. We cheer for Twig, but we don't really mourn when any of the others perishes.

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