Friday, December 14, 2018

A Martyr's Art, by J.P. Sullivan

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Dark Fantasy Adventure) Martyrs can heal wounds and even reverse death, but only by taking injuries and diseases into their own bodies. Chalcedony’s master seems likely to get killed, and she can’t get out of her contract. (9,248 words; Time: 30m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 267, published on .

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

Review: 2018.697 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The healer who takes the injury/illness into herself is played very well here, as is the well-paid-slave angle. The city abuses the martyrs terribly, and hence her victory is sweet.

A nice bit of foreshadowing: A woman earlier had asked for the temple to take away her arthritis just for a week, but that was impossible. With the gift Chalcedony got from Amara, though, she can do it; her ability is now complete: she can take injuries and dispense them too.

Con: I don’t see why Sebastien doesn’t just have her killed at this point. He certainly has no reason to surrender to her.

A few things didn’t seem to add up: She walked out on her master when she thought he was dying. Why wasn’t she arrested?

The whole ship of sailors died of plague. Why? The whole town was supposedly inoculated. Or, if this was a different plague, why didn’t it affect the townspeople? And what was that about it being started by the dockmaster? He can start plagues on command?

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