A child is sold by her mother in a market to the wizard’s secretary.
From that point we have two view points. One is the family the child leaves behind left behind and the other is the child themself as they serve the wizards of Perfil.
Kelly Link creates a whole world that has plenty of scope to expand beyond the confines of this tale. The fact that she mentions the travels of the family from city to city, the ongoing war and the whole feel makes it a place that is alive outside this story.
The story itself builds towards the ending. It’s one of those stories where you get absorbed in the imagination of the writer. The market place is full of life, the families destitute state is heartfelt and the resentment of the child not chosen to go with the wizard is tangible.
What made it for me was the skill of Kelly Link’s writing. The children share a link. They can each ‘visit’ the other and see and feel from the their point of view. That awareness isn’t limited to each other. They can see into the people around them.
This gives the writing an interesting quality as the narrator is narrating the view of one child she is themselves a narrator for the other. But she does it without once making it unclear. You can tell instantly what chain of links you are following.
I was worried about how it would end as there seemed no where for the story to go over so few pages and the texture very rich but there is a journey and an ending that is a beginning.
After my first Kelly Link I’m now eager for more.