Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Widow Maker, by Lavie Tidhar

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Fantasy Adventure; Gorel of Goliris) Gorel takes a job escorting an expedition to the top of a mountain in search of the legendary “Widow Maker” weapon, which destroyed two advanced civilizations thousands of years ago. (10,442 words; Time: 34m)

Although this is part of a long-running series, there’s no need to read earlier ones first, but if you want to avoid spoilers for the series, you might want to start with “Gorel and the Pot-Bellied God.”

"Widow Maker," by (edited by Gardner Dozois), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.648 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part of this story is the setting. Not just the icy mountain but the whole history of really advanced cultures that killed each other, leaving toxic magic that’s still killing people after centuries.

Gorel himself is an interesting character, and his interest in the Zul and Ware’i as possible clues to the location of Goliris makes perfect sense, although it suggests he already has a clue that Goliris isn’t just remote in space—it’s remote in time as well.

The twist in the middle is predictable in hindsight, since it’s very weird that Kay claimed to be from a village way up the mountain. After all, they quickly left all the villages behind even before they reached the snow line.

The ending is rather sad, with Gorel determined to keep seeking Goloris, even though we now know that it vanished ages ago.

Con: What exactly happened at the end? Was the community of monks just an illusion? Were they all ghosts? Why did Kay get turned into an infant?

Gorel’s drug addiction seems to do him no harm at all, other than financial.

Other Reviews: Search Web,
Lavie Tidhar Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)