Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Prince Who Gave Up Her Empire, by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

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(High Fantasy) A prophesy says Prince Terasadh will either immortalize her empire or else destroy it. Naturally the prince wants to know which it's going to be. (7,200 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 88, published on .

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

Pro: The prince seems to split the difference on the prophecy. She does end the old king, but also expands and strengthens the empire. And by setting herself up as a near-immortal champion available in time of need, she has perhaps ensured it will stand forever.

Con: The mix of pronouns is unhelpful. Sometimes the prince is he, not she, and from the sex scenes, the prince is unquestionably male. Likewise Bernamés, although described as androgynous, is clearly female, and is sometimes "they" and sometimes "he." This burdens the reader to no obvious purpose.

One expected to find the prophecies fulfilled in some tangled way, e.g. the Prince might have "destroyed" the empire by renaming it or even making it into a Republic, but at the end we feel vaguely cheated; the prophecies just didn't come true.

A small but annoying detail is that the author likes to use mathematical terms without regard to their actual meanings, perhaps because she likes the way they sound. This is very jarring to anyone who actually understands math.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 88)
Benjanun Sriduangkaew Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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