Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections, by Tina Connolly

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(High Fantasy Dystopia) The Regent rules as a tyrant, and he has separated Saffron from her husband to force him to bake the amazing confections that let you relive bits of the past. (7,845 words; Time: 26m)

"," by (edited by Melissa Frain), published on by .

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

Pro: Danny finally finds a way to poison the Duke that won’t hurt his wife very much. She’s only observed a limited amount of pain in her life, so she’s not gone for long, and even though she experiences the pain (which previously she only saw), it’s not so terrible. But the Duke has tortured countless people. Forcing him to endure their collective suffering takes weeks. Clever indeed.

Saffron comes across as a solid character; we feel her grief at the loss of her sister and her continuing grief at the separation from her husband.

Con: The final confection breaks the rules of the earlier ones; all previous ones only resurrected your own memories. The last one does something entirely different by making you experience the memories of other people, but there was no foreshadowing that that was even possible.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. 5-stars from me. This story has a rather innovative premise behind it and was very well-written. Easy to read and follow the story. Cool title too.

    Regarding the Con you posted - the whole idea of good short fiction is to not see the ending coming. The ending was a surprise but that is the whole idea of it. I do get the difference between fore-shadowing and "given the plot away". Saffron knows her husband is up to something but she didn't figure it out until the very last bit, and she quickly improvised - so it was sort of fore-shadowed.

    Artwork by Anna & Elena Balbusso, and it works well with the story.

    1. What I'm looking for is the "Aha! Moment." That's the point where I understand what's really happening, and I realize that I should have seen it all along. That moment when all the pieces click into place.

      If you click on the image, it ought to show the names of the artists. Does it not work on your browser?

    2. I either forgot this function existed or I never realised it was there to being with. Thanks for the reminder.

      I do see the name of the artist when I click on the image, and the image enlarges too. Works very well.

    3. Ah, I hadn't noticed that function either. Plus a link to the artist website -- nice!