365 Days of Women Writers

Women writers only – no boys allowed

Day 28: River of Souls by Beth Bernobich

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I don’t like stories where the hero and the heroine are OTP for all time and are forever reincarnated as lovers because *yawn*

River of Souls does not start off very promisingly. A spoiled rich boy is running off to find the woman he dreams about and of course he does so in the most ridiculous way. Decides to ride through bandit filled mountains rather than taking a ship and of course when he is about to die in a snowstorm he gets miraculously rescued.

Bernobich wastes about 4000 words on this inconsequential portion of the story. (About 40% of the total) This section mostly seems to exist so he can kill his horse. Really, if you are going to read the story, I suggest you do a search for the line “How old are you?”

That’s when I thought the story picked up. Because at least his OTP was an old lady. It takes a while for him to admit that he dreams of their relationship every night and eventually he finds out he’s dying and has to face his future. I was sucked into the story despite my prejudices (and even if Asa is channelling his inner Bella through pretty much the whole thing.)

The ending for me was a bit too high on the sapmeter, and if this hadn’t been so long, I could have seen it as the prologue to a novel rather than a short story.

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Written by Chance

October 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Posted in short story, tor.com

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