Marie Brennan “Cold Forged Flame” (Tor.com, 2016)
A woman wakes up surrounded by strangers. She doesn’t know who she is, but is told that she has been summoned to do a task. If she completes it, then she will be released from this spell. What follows is a tight, action filled story as she goes on a journey through a dangerous magical land.
I know that there are so many differences, but I found myself recalling the work of Fritz Leiber. Short in length, but clearly hinting at a fully realized world. Glimpses of characters who seem to have untold depth. There’s action and intrigue, but not without context.
I loved this. In a short piece such as this, I’m looking to be entertained. At its best, the story should make me want more. And this piece succeeds. I’m looking forward to reading more about this world and these characters.