Black Gate Online, October 14, 2012

Black Gate Online, October 14, 2012

Reviewed in this issue is:

“The Daughter’s Dowry” by Aaron Bradford Starr

Aaron Bradford Starr brings us a tale, “The Daughter’s Dowry,” that has the feel of being told around the fireplace in a fantasy setting. The protagonist, Gloren Avericci, is a freelance Gallery Hunter. This may be code for thief, but to hear Gloren tell it, he is an adventurer in true fantasy style. Even after knowing the story, it is debatable whether his cat, Yr Neh, is a familiar or a travelling companion, though said cat is presented as former royalty and sentient. One of the funniest bits here revolve around Yr Neh trysting with a female cat under Gloren’s bed. To say more would be to spoil the scene.

That very little is resolved in this tale is part of its charm. This is a story about a storyteller telling a story about an adventure that he had. Gloren regales us from the first person point of view. At times, he fills in his back story or gives teasers about other adventures by incorporating associated bits into his retelling of events. However, he warns us that he’s telling us what actually happened rather than embellishing with any of the literary conventions that a Chronicler might use. Just a moment before any of his many tangential anecdotes could become as annoying as a pebble in one’s shoe, Gloren draws his audience back into the main event—that of his happenstance finding of a very special key, and the events that occurred afterward.

This was a fast and pleasant read. A story such as this deserves a world of its own and more adventures from its hero.

A version of this review appears on the Tangent Online website.

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