Saturday, June 9, 2018

Like Smoke, Like Light, by Yukimi Ogawa

[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Average

(Japanese Fantasy) Disgraced, her magical abilities destroyed, the young narrator serves a branch of her family carrying food to the powerful head of household, who hides in an annex surrounded by spells, talking to the dead. (6,823 words; Time: 22m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 06/04/18, published on .

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

Pro: The narrator finds a purpose and frees herself from the guilt that tied her down just as much as any spell did. Her kindness to the match-lighting ghost is rewarded manyfold. In particular, the ghost has brought her the ingredients to exercise magical power, even if she doesn’t really have it anymore.

Con: The story is a bit confusing. Why was the narrator the only one who could cleanse the annex? How did that help the family find the deeds if they were in the main house? Did the narrator help her ex and his lover escape? If not, why was she held responsible? And why did she need the instruction paper after the first few days?

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 06/04/18)
Yukimi Ogawa Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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