Wednesday, August 19, 2020

All These Guardians of Order and Clarity, None of Them Can Abide a Free Witch, by Benjamin Rosenbaum


(Fantasy Adventure) Maghd of Ilmak Dale, the “White Witch,” feels that Marish’s account of their encounter and the destruction of Ilmak Dale is very slanted, so she tells her side of the story. (7,796 words; Time: 25m)

It’s possible this is a better story if you have already read "A Siege of Cranes.” (2006), which was reprinted in Lightspeed last month.

"All These Guardians of Order and Clarity, None of Them Can Abide a Free Witch," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 123, published on .

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

Review: 2020.412 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Maghd tells how poorly everyone treated her, and how even Marish’s support was just an inch deep. It was a little amusing that the whole town had depended on protecting their souls from bad bargains by hiding each one in a stone, so once Maghd found the stones, she could broker “a hell of a deal.” Not many people get to sell someone else’s soul to the devil!

Con: Ultimately, though, the mistreatment she received doesn’t justify her actions. She killed a whole village of people and all their children. The story tries to excuse that, but I can’t. She gets a happy ending, but I don’t think she deserved one.

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