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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, March 2019

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Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, March 2019

"King of Flame" by Janie Brunson

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

The narrator of "King of Flame" by Janie Brunson lives in the modern world, but can perceive another, magical realm. The King of Flame has abandoned his duty to control destructive fire sprites. This leads to deadly wildfires in our world. The narrator begins the story in a psychiatric hospital, and must risk life and limb to reach the other realm in order to rescue both realities from disaster.

This brief story creates an interesting, if sketchy, fantasy world. The author never describes or names the narrator, leading to a sense of vagueness. The theme of the Chosen One who saves everyone and earns a great reward may seem overly familiar to readers of heroic fantasy.

Victoria Silverwolf is currently reading a history of British horror movies.