Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Witch's Hour, by Shannon Connor Winward

Find this issue
(High Fantasy) Esmelda really needs to impress the new king with her cooking, but the pesky ghost of the last cook won’t leave her alone. (10,234 words; Time: 34m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Clever and Disturbing

"Witch's Hour," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|17, published on by .

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

Pro: Esmelda has a fairly simple agenda: impress the new king. Her largest problem is the ghost. But the cost of banishing the ghost ends up being he own soul, as she kills the king by accident, and then mutes poor Jamie forever to hide her coverup of the king’s death.

This is particularly painful, since we had shared in her joy at watching Jamie gradually acquiring the ability to speak. For her to take it from him is beyond horrible.

A strength of this story is how well everything is foreshadowed. For example, the king routinely jokes about wanting to slip away, so when he disappears, everyone thinks he did just that. And we know that everyone thinks Jamie is “simple” and that’s why he has trouble speaking. No one will notice his loss of speaking ability. All the details seem well-thought-out.

Con: Esmelda is so cold it’s hard to have much feeling for her--especially at the end.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|17)
Shannon Connor Winward Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Well, you knew this wouldn't end with "happily ever after." It's neatly wrapped up, but oof!