Deep Magic, #42, November 2005

Note: This post was imported from an old content-management system, so please excuse any inconsistencies in formatting.
"Elvish as a Second Language" by Margaret E. Welsh
"Pile of Leaves" by Ian Morrison

"The Ravenmaster" by Jeff Wheeler

"Elvish as a Second Language" by Margaret E. Welsh is written as a series of letters detailing the attempts of one Alliana Woodgreen to teach the Crown Prince Elvish.  While the theme of the story is perhaps a bit coarse for a magazine whose slogan is "Safe Places for Minds to Wander" (it contains some references to reproduction which may be offensive to some readers), the story is nevertheless cleverly written. 

"Pile of Leaves" by Ian Morrison tells the story of Karro, hiding out on the backwater planet Earth, with a valuable gem that he stole with his brother and his brother’s friends.  Someday, when the heat is off, his brother and friends will return to take him home.  In the meantime, he lives as a human on Earth, waiting, always waiting, for the call to return home.  But when it finally does come, it may not be quite the happy reunion he had hoped for. 


"Pile of Leaves" is a joyous affirmation of the eternal hope and beauty of life, in all its forms. 

In "The Ravenmaster" by Jeff Wheeler, there was a time when Wilmont was delighted by his position as apprentice to the Ravenmaster.  But that was before the new scullery maid came, with her mocking, disdainful airs and her honey-brown eyes.  Legend has it that so long as even one raven nests in Pent Tower, the keep will never fall.  But now, Wilmont wonders if that legend is only legend.  Until, that is, the spy penetrates the keep and changes everything. 

"Ravenmaster" is a poignant coming of age story, as bittersweet as new wine.  It hurts us to see Wilmont forced into his new place in the world, but at the same time, we rejoice at his growth, and at his rekindled belief in the legend that a Ravenmaster would give his life to sustain.