Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Best Man Wins, by K.J. Parker

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(Fantasy Adventure) A young man comes to the best swordsmith to make a weapon suitable to kill the man who murdered his father. (11,088 words; Time: 36m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Best Man Wins," by (edited by Gardner Dozois), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The descriptions of sword making and training are interesting in their own right. The lead up to the final fight is tense, as we gradually realize whom the young man intends to fight.

Con: The ending is rather depressing. The story leads us to like the young man, to admire his persistence, and to wish him well. Yet he’s dispatched off-stage in a single “you know what happened.”

It’s hard to believe that one can acquire that much skill at swordsmanship that quickly.

The details about making and using swords go on for too long.

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K.J. Parker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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