Friday, November 3, 2017

The Faerie Tree, by Kathleen Kayembe

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(Modern Fantasy Horror) Only Marianne can see that her new brother-in-law is a horror, and although she knows she can summon the faeries to get rid of him, she also knows the price will be very high. (6,286 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Tense and Horrifying

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 90, published on .

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

Pro: Marianne herself is a changeling; her grandmother traded the “real” Marianne to the faeries in exchange for them fixing some problem with Marianne’s father. Even so, she feels like a real girl (never mind that people think she’s strange), and she’s fiercely protective of her family.

Losing her parents is doubly horrifying, then, because she could have asked the faeries to deal with the man earlier, but she lost her nerve. Their loss is partly her fault, and she knows it.

The price the faeries ask is a reasonable one, at first glance, and the final fight scene is tense and satisfying at the same time. Moreover, we knew the man had fake eyes, a fake smile, and fake skin. He stole two of those from the parents, but obviously he had Marianne in mind for the third.

The final line makes the horror complete; the faeries really have managed to steal something much more precious, because Marianne will never love her sister again.

Con: For some reason it’s hard to like Marianne very much. And we never do get a satisfactory explanation of how her sister got into this mess in the first place.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 90)
Kathleen Kayembe Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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