Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Handful of Sky, by Elly Bangs

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(High Fantasy) She used to be a High Tailor, making literally magical garments, but fifty years ago, an indiscretion cost Jorren everything. Today, a customer gives her a second chance, if she can make an almost impossible coat for him. (8,299 words; Time: 27m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 280, published on .

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

Review: 2019.345 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is a magic dystopia, where the rich members of the upper town use clothing-based magic to bleed the lower town dry. The narrator suffered so terribly for a single careless word fifty years ago, so the opportunity to at least get something seems both inadequate and irresistible.

But there has to be a catch.

What’s nice about the story is the way it keeps hinting at what’s really going on. By the time we find out what Sky is really good for, it’s no surprise why the upper town needs it, and it’s not a big surprise that Jorren has no intention of using it for herself.

The story also does a great job of delivering all this info without ever descending to a dump of unwanted information.

Con: As described, Sky seems to be a bit too powerful. It seems that Jorren could have wished for Araias and his assassins to forget all about her. Wished to be young. Wished to be wealthy. Done all that and then distributed the fragments of hope among the people. I saw no particular reason why she had to die for it.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. You've got two different reviews for this story: