Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Palace of the Silver Dragon, by Y.M. Pang

[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Average

(Chinese Fantasy Adventure) Aliah flees the destruction of her family and their home, seeking refuge under the sea with the Silver Dragon, even though legends say the Silver Dragon’s only gift is death. (7,820 words; Time: 26m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 10/01/18, published on .

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

Review: 2018.547 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: At first it seems that Aliah seeks refuge or maybe absolution in the Silver Dragon’s realm, but as we gradually learn more about her, we realize she came for selfish reasons.

The Silver Dragon isn’t honest with her either, particularly at the end when he tells her she’ll kill him and set all the souls free if she attacks him with the sword, even though the real truth is that that will happen only if she offers him his freedom. The irony is that she does out of indifference what Ruon had thought she'd do out of love. (Apparently he didn't understand his sister at all.)

In whatever time she has left, she’ll listen to his stories, so she gets a reward after all.

Con: Aliah is a psychopath. It’s impossible to like her. Her tears are only for herself, and she’s consistently ungrateful and deceitful. This makes it hard to like the story.

It's also hard to believe the Silver Dragon would actually keep such a promise.

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