Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sinking Among Lilies

"Sinking Among Lilies" (if you can't tell, this is hyper-linked to where you can read the story for free) is an adventure fantasy novelette by Cory Skerry, published in 2012 by Beneath Ceaseless Skies.  It's not my favorite novelette in the world, but it's one of the better ones out there.  Its place in The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Online Magazine, Year Four is not for nothing.

The characters in this story have some odd, and occasionally jarring, quirks.  Many of them are cool and fit the subgenre well.  A few of them are annoying.  The split is such that I can't give much complaint.  The first-person narrator is (sort of a minor spoiler, although the story doesn't exactly try to hide the fact) female, which makes the rest of the story feel more elegant and a bit more heroic in a sense.  Her tone matches the content well.  I think the characters were meant to be a bit more sympathetic than I felt they actually achieved, but it'll more than likely vary from reader to reader, so I don't find it a glaring problem.

Plot-wise this story gets about a 17/20.  It's traditional, contains well-written twists, and plays along with the characters expertly.  The story would have come out of another round of revisions a bit slicker in this area, I think, although it's possible I'm being too critical here.

The setting felt a little dis-jointed from time to time, but overall its very well done, especially for the adventure fantasy subgenre.  It's classically-styled, yet utterly unique.

"Sinking Among Lilies" didn't steal a "High" rating in my personal records, but it managed a "Moderate-High" handily.  If you like short adventure fantasy stories, you'll probably enjoy this story a lot.

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