Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Ruby Incomparable" by Kage Baker

I think I enjoy fantasy the most when it's about a character's personal story. Sure, all the old standards of magic-sword-wielding heroes and wise wizards saving the kingdom from hideous monsters certainly have their place. However, what I really love is when an author uses their world to explore characters and their relationships.

This is exactly what Kage Baker does in her short story "The Ruby Incomparable." Except she also adds the curious twist of making what seems like a sort of fantasy-adventure story about the strong-willed daughter of two very unlikely magical parents into something far more interesting. She actually kind of blindsides the reader a bit by sneaking the main character, Svnae's, issues with relating to her mother in the back door of the story while you're busy reading about her exploits. It's very well-done, frankly, and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

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