Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Country Called Winter, by Theodora Goss

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Modern Fantasy) Vera grew up in America, but she was born in Winter, a mysterious, very cold European country. She thinks she’s left it all behind, but it finds a way to come for her. (8,168 words; Time: 27m)

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 114, published on .

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

Review: 2019.642 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: In a way, this is almost a portal fantasy, since there’s almost no way to reach Winter from the real world.

The story divides into two very different parts: The first part describes Vera’s experience as a grad student and her unsuccessful love life, while the second part describes her actions once she’s called to take the throne of Winter. The first part goes a long way to convince us that she’s a decent person and that Winter could do worse. Her doubts about herself are likely to be a strength, given the circumstances.

One of the best parts of the story is the comic relief. E.g. to fend off the threat of the Frost Giants should she marry the son of the king of the Ice Trolls or just join NATO?

Con: It takes way too long for this story to show itself to be more than a Ruritanian Romance.

The end is a little unsatisfying in that it’s too easy. And I think we’re all sure she’ll pick Edrick.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. 4-stars from me. I just wished she had said good-bye forever to her ex-boyfriend, whose behavior had a bit to be desired.

    1. If she'd done that, I probably would give it four stars as well.