Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Strange Kind of Beauty, by Christien Gholson

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(High Fantasy) Based on a new prophecy she found, Heoli leads her people out of the desert to a ruined city rich with water. Some fear that it’s too good to be true, though. (7,356 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Interesting and Satisfying

"A Strange Kind of Beauty," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 269, published on by .

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

Pro: Heoli really wants to understand the prophecies—old and new. Her hunger for knowledge almost destroys her, and she comes away wiser.

Xicoh wants to become a Vaithe, but she loves Heoli, wants to protect her, and wants to earn her approval. She accomplishes all of this.

Roh-Kin wants to rule a real city, where his people can prosper. He gets his wish—for now, at least. When he burns the old scrolls, it symbolizes that the old ways are gone.

The man from the past wants a new body to occupy. He almost pulls it off.

At the end, Heoli forsees a new future for the Kahtt, based on the new knowledge they’ve acquired, and it ends optimistically.

Con: None of the characters ever becomes solid enough to engage our emotions. The only emotional moment is the shock of learning the priceless old scrolls were burned.

There are physical details that are physically impossible that distract the reader. E.g. an eclipse lasting weeks.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 269)
Christien Gholson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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