Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Afiya's Song, by Justin C. Key

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(Alternate History Fantasy) There was magic in Afiya’s songs. Even after they cut out her tongue, she still managed to inspire the rebellion that ended slavery. (13,819 words; Time: 46m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Afiya's Song," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 07-08|17, published on by .

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

Pro: Anyone who watched the movie Twelve Years a Slave knows that the mistreatment of slaves in the story isn’t exaggerated. The story depicts that era very realistically.

Con: The supernatural element is very slight, and the alternate history element exists only in the framing story.

This is a very realistic story of terrible pain and loss embedded in an utterly unbelievable wish-fulfillment fantasy; the combination just doesn’t work.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Strongest thing about the story is definitely the historical fiction aspect. I liked that the magic was fairly incidental showing that people were inspired who didn't believe in the healing power of the song (and at least one who doubted Afiya herself actually exsisted). Even though Sam believed in the song, he wasn't physically healed by it, but still spiritually healed. The complex relationship between Afiya and Louis made for a more nuanced story.

    1. That part was definitely very well done.

      I've started tagging stories like this (ones with great strengths but also great weaknesses) as "uneven" rather than "average."