Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Mocking Tower, by Daniel Abraham

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(Fantasy Adventure) Somewhere near the every-changing Mocking Tower the Imagi Vert has hidden a sword that holds the soul of the late emperor, and a thief has come to try to steal it. (9,944 words; Time: 33m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ A Fun Read with Unexpected Twists and Turns
Recommended By: RHorton:5

"The Mocking Tower," by (edited by Gardner Dozois), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Prince Aus wants to destroy the sword in the mistaken belief that its existence causes the war, and in hopes that by so doing he can make himself emperor. He’ll become emperor, all right, but it won’t be the peaceful reign he’s thinking to have.

The surprise at the end that the old gardener is actually the Imagi Vert and that her gardening knife holds the emperor’s soul is signaled in a few places. In particular, the implication that the two are romantically involved is hinted at elsewhere, so it makes for a good “aha” moment at the end.

Con: Succession wars usually happen because there are no direct heirs, not because of too many.

Prince Aus is sufficiently brutal that it’s impossible to root for him.

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