“In Memory of Jianjong, Snake-Devil” by Richard Parks
Review by Michelle Ristuccia
“In Memory of Jianjong, Snake-Devil” by Richard Parks follows a daughter and father mercenary team intent on slaughtering a local snake-devil known to eat a person or two. Stilted dialogue slows the flow of the piece and makes for less believable characters. Based on Asian mythology and references the Tao.
“Whatever Knight Comes” by Ryan Row, told in second-person POV, tells the story of a knight cursed to capture maidens and fight their knights to the death in a cycle of resurrection and compulsion. The bold choice of POV and present tense makes for a fascinating read exploring twisted moral quandaries with nary a word in excess. Row takes a familiar concept, that of the maiden-in-distress, and deftly turns the trope on its head. Bonus points for a strong female character.
Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best inspiration and motivation. You can find out more about her other writing projects and geeky obsessions by visiting her blog.