Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Thirty-Eight-Hundred Bone Coat, by R.K. Duncan

★★★★☆ Tense, Exciting, and a Little Disturbing.

(High Fantasy) A nobleman offers Navid’s family a vast fortune if they’ll make him a magic coat more powerful than anything they’ve ever made, and in the span of a single month. It will change their lives, one way or the other. (8,408 words; Time: 28m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 277, published on .

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

Review: 2019.309 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Although the whole family pitches in, it’s clear that Navid is the weakest link, so the whole story is about the lengths he’ll go to to make this happen.

To begin with, he tries plain hard work. That seems to work at first, but once it’s clear it won’t be enough, he switches to drugs—risking his own future health. But he’s not cut out for that, and almost dies. Finally, he uses blasphemy to summon a flood that’ll disturb the old bones. This works, but at a high price both for him and for his father. He may never be able to get right with the Prophet again, but, just as important, he’s lost the river too.

Con: Ultimately, the price paid seems too small.

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