Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xuan the Tiger

If you like elegant, 3rd-narrative fantasy flash fiction, you'll adore "Xuan the Tiger" by J Kyle Turner.  It is simple and gentle in a way that would make it a good bedtime story for older children.

The protagonist, Xuan, is a great character.  She has poise, intelligence, and determination to her.  Her competence may be semi-feigned, but her "sympathy" and "active" sliders are cranked up pretty high.  The other characters in the story aren't developed, yet their roles in the story are filled satisfactorily.

This story has a lot of plot for its 988 words.  It flows well and has rolling tension.  The protagonist wants something and (spoiler) eventually achieves it.  Daily Science Fiction isn't always great about findings stories that have traditional plot structures, for better or worse.  I really like how this story ran.  The last paragraph is brilliant, even though it raises a lot of plot questions.

The setting of "Xuan the Tiger" is quaint.  It helps set the tone of the story, along with the narrative POV.  The "strange" aspects of it are properly balanced by the "familiar."

As long as you don't mind fantasy or 3rd-narrative you'll almost certainly enjoy this story.  Check it out!

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