Thursday, May 18, 2017

Whatever Knight Comes, by Ryan Row

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(Fairy Tale) You are a knight cursed to kidnap maidens and the die trying to keep them when a knight comes to rescue them. Over and over. (6,610 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 226, published on .

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

Pro: The knight wants his freedom, and the maiden wants his position. Both are satisfied in the end.
By the nature of the story, we’re certain that she’s going to free him from the curse. The story is really about telling us how she’ll do it.

There are a lot of little details that make the story satisfying. The four towers each have different functions. We know the missing 13th ancient form is going to matter somehow. And, of course, it opens with him watching comets (that represent people freed from curses) and ends with him becoming one.

Con: Why in the world does she want his job? Nothing leads us to believe that she's going to get anything out of this other than misery. Her character isn't developed enough for us to either love or hate her, so we're just numb about the outcome.

He doesn’t really earn his freedom; he just gets it as a side-effect of the maiden killing him. In fact, he's so resigned to his fate that he's not a very satisfactory protagonist at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 226)
Ryan Row Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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