Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Moss Kings, by David Gullen

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(High Fantasy) Young Alunan is sent to a distant village to deliver a message he got from one of the creatures that oppresses his country; a message demanding the delivery of a boy and a young woman. (4,837 words; Time: 16m)

"The Moss Kings," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.284 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is Alunan’s coming-of-age story. He leaves on his quest a boy, but even so we see he knows how to take care of himself. He’s an honest boy, as we see when he admits to the abbess he dozed off. And he’s a brave boy, as Robert observes when he meets him.

In the delivery of the sacrifices, he does his duty, even when it’s as dull as merely observing and remembering what happens. When Robert offers him a position as squire, he’s humble enough not to assume Robert means him, but we know he’s earned it.

Con: Although it’s technically a complete story, it feels like a fragment of a much longer one. Not a lot really happens here, and the stakes aren’t very high. If there’s more in this world, I’d be interested in reading it.

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