Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Chisel and Chime, by Alex Irvine

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(High Fantasy) Melandra will die when she finishes her statue of the Imperator, but while she works, she learns a lot from the story her young guard tells her. (18,263 words; Time: 1h:00m)

According to F&SF this is the third story set in this universe, although the other two were over ten years ago. I don’t think it was necessary to read the other two to appreciate this one, but if you want to read them, they’re both collected in “Mare Ultima,” by Alexander C. Irvine. I liked the story well enough to order a copy.

"Chisel and Chime," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.041 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: There are two stories here: the story of how Melandra carved the statue and the story of how young Brant ended up in this place. Both face death at the end of the commission, and the story eventually turns to how they might escape their fates or at least change them.

Con: At the start, I found Melandra’s sections tedious compared to Brant’s. Once we learned that a spirit trapped in a chime could take over a body, it seemed obvious that was how they’d try to control the Imperator, so from that point I was just waiting for them to get to it.

The ending leaves me wondering what really happened, though. Did it work or not?

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Alex Irvine Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. The first story in this setting, Wizard's Six, was reprinted at Clarkesworld: