Monday, January 15, 2018

The Court Magician, by Sarah Pinsker

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(High Fantasy) In which we learn how the new court magician was recruited and find out how even a “market rat” can qualify. We learn that there is real magic, but it comes with a price. (3,148 words; Time: 10m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"The Court Magician," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 92, published on .

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

Pro: The young magician’s desire to understand real magic keeps him experimenting with the word of power long past the point where most of his predecessors gave up. (Although the narrator went until they were nothing but a disembodied voice.)

Most of us take jobs where we trade off our youth and even our health in order to satisfy the often-irrational demands of our superiors, and the court magician is most likely symbolic of that.

Con: None of the characters ever really became real to me, so I didn’t find the ending particularly moving. The symbolism of the young man leaving to search for what he lost was unclear to me as well.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 92)
Sarah Pinsker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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