Friday, April 5, 2019

The Seeds of War, by Ashok K. Banker

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Indian High Fantasy; Sha’ant) In which Vrath, Regent of the Burnt Empire, and Queen Jilana deal with the problem of the empire having no heirs. (6,742 words; Time: 22m)

This installment just picks up where the last one left off; it doesn’t even pretend to be a stand-alone story.

"The Seeds of War," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 107, published on .

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

Review: 2019.199 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s entertaining to see how Jilana managed to get Vessa to father three sons as prospective heirs and yet each of the three had a fatal flaw.

Con: It just ends without resolution. It’s a tale, not a story, in the sense that there is no plot. That is, there is no protagonist pursuing a goal; events just happen for no reason.

I know this is in the form of a myth, but little things like embryos that have already learned the law or babies that grow into men in an hour break my suspension of disbelief. It doesn’t help that it has logical gaps such as one paragraph where Dirgha is born incapable of speech followed by another where he’s blind instead.

Beyond that, I’m still ticked at Vrath for taking his ridiculous vow of celibacy two episodes ago.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. And of course all these stories are simply intended to be just the prequel to "Upon a Burning Throne" which comes out in the middle of April 2019 (the main characters are the 2 princes conceived in this story).

    I'm not sure how I feel about Lightspeed being used as a marketing tool for JJA's novel imprint, but this is exactly what is happening.

    1. I'm okay with that; it's not that different from what does, after all. But the stories need to be enticing, and this one just isn't. Not to me, anyway.

      What's funny about the Tor stories is that they can be enticing yet not be great stories. All they have to do is make the universe and/or characters seem really interesting, at which point I'm curious about the novels that explore them in detail--even though the short story itself was bland and forgettable.

      That fails, though, if the story is tedious. I need to finish thinking, "Where's the rest?" not "Thank God that's over."