Monday, April 4, 2016

Dragon Brides, by Nghi Vo

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(Fantasy) She was 15 when a dragon abducted her. 16 when a prince rescued her and married her. Now she's 55, returning to the cave where she was held. (3,601 words; Time: 12m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: RHorton:4

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 71, published on .

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

Pro: Once she goes up to that cave and starts playing with the hoard, it seems likely that she wants to be a dragon. The outcome resolves our questions.

Con: But it's not at all clear why she wants to be a dragon. She seems to have had a good situation back at the court. And why did the dragon abduct her in the first place?

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 71)
Nghi Vo Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the prose, and the way the flashbacks were incorporated into the plot, and I think that lifts it up to a 4 for me.

    As to why she wants to go back - there's the bit in the beginning about dragon brides being somehow changed, and then there's these little bits sprinkled through the story:

    "Sometimes it was my own shadow that I chased up the mountain, that of a girl who could not imagine growing old, and sometimes it was the shadow of a great beast with leathery wings that could span the broad castle gate."


    "Some part of me never left the mountain, and some part of me never stopped watching the sky for the glint of sunlight on jade scales."

    The mysterious, alien allure of the dragon came through quite well I thought.

  2. I liked this twist on the traditional European dragon tale. In this case, the dragon rescued the princess from a dull, predictable life and the knight dragged her back to it for a while.

    I'd say the dragon probably sensed a kindred spirit and chose her for its heir.