Primary Genre(s): Short Story, Fantasy
Published: 10 Aug 2009
Page count: 23
Format: online copy
My rating: ★★★★★
This is a story about a young writer and an old witch who meet on a lonely road that winds towards the New Capital. Actually, they meet there twice. The first time, there’s a curse involved. The second time–you’ll have to read and find out.
After reading Sourdough and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore I became a huge fan of Robin Sloan. His two novels are quirky, fun, and downright weird, and I enjoyed reading them. I recently realized that he has written a couple of short stories so I thought I’d read those as well. I started with The Writer and the Witch. Please click here to read a free online copy of the story if you are interested. Here are my pros and cons:
- Intriguing story written in a fairy tale format.
- Interesting evaluation on whether a curse from an evil witch is really a curse after all.
- The story is, perhaps, a small statement on the consequences of withholding kindness from others.
- I wouldn’t describe this as quirky, like I do Sloan’s novels; however, this story didn’t go in the direction I expected. Sloan is great at leading you down a path and then taking sharp turns in other directions.
- I thought it was imaginative and thought-provoking and, in the end, it was full of heart.
- Some of the phrasing in the story was slightly odd and repetitive and I can’t really think of a good reason for it. It didn’t alter my perception of the story overall, but it was noticeable and awkward at times.
This isn’t your typical fairy tale! It is worth reading and I encourage you to do so –particularly folks that enjoyed either of Sloan’s novels I mentioned previously.
(image from Goodreads)