Monday, April 16, 2018

The Heart of Owl Abbas, by Kathleen Jennings

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Steampunk Fantasy) Excelsior lives to write songs, and Nightingale was made to sing them. But the decadent city of Owl Abbas does not deserve either one. (6,943 words; Time: 23m)

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Pro: The plot summary is that Excelsior wants Nightingale to perform his best songs, and while it performs for the people, all is well. But once the palace takes Nightingale away, those same songs given directly to the people inspire revolution. Nightingale was sent to take the heart of the city, but it takes Excelsior’s heart instead, and they fuse into one being.

The main reason to read this story isn’t the plot, though; it’s the beautiful language that describes the city, the singing, the destruction, etc.

It’s possible there’s a non-obvious social message here, but I don’t really see one beyond “if the rich take everything, the people will revolt and destroy it all.”

Con: It’s very long and very dull. There’s no development of the characters, neither of whom has a particularly interesting goal to attempt, nor is there any dramatic tension.

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