Sunday, December 8, 2019

Precious Little Things, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

★★★★☆ Charming

(High Fantasy; Made Things) Tiny homunculi of wood, glass, paper, etc. dwell in Arcantel’s tower, protected for centuries by powerful wards the arch mage created. But for the first time, they’re threatened by visitors. (6,921 words; Time: 23m)

This is set in the world of Made Things perhaps a century before that story, but there’s no overlap of plot or characters, so there’s no need to read that one before this one or vice versa.

"," by (edited by Lee Harris), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.675 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Tam’s story serves as prequel to Liat’s story, which is the heart of the tale, but it shows us that Liat came from sturdy stock. Tam works hard and gets extraordinary results from little. Liat will surpass him.

When the visitors come, Liat’s background makes it clear to her what they really are—looters—and just what a threat they pose. “They would have taken everything we had and everything we were, and counted it as but little.”

I loved the general descriptions of the world the homunculi live in. And I liked the fact that, being made of wood, Liat isn’t afraid of the beetles and centipedes that flick curious antennae in her direction.

For anyone who read Made Things, it nicely answers questions like “what happened to Arcantel?” and “Why did the homunculi leave the tower?”

Con: The story mainly serves to suck the reader into the world of Made Things; it ends right when it gets exciting.

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Adrian Tchaikovsky Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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