SFR: Amethyst, Shadow, and Light by Saladin Ahmed (2013)

the fearsome journeysTitle: ‘Amethyst, Shadow, and Light’
Author: Saladin Ahmed
Source: Fearsome Journeys edited by Jonathan Strahan

One Word Review: Subversive.

One Line Review: Zok Ironeyes and his partner Hai Hai plan on looting a mansion, instead this Conan-pastiche turns into a quest that could save the world, and Ahmed then plays and pokes fun at the idea.

One Paragraph Review: I’ve not read a lot of Conan but I was wondering if it was supposed to subvert this brand of heroic fantasy and I found another story (set in the same world) and an article  confirming that feeling.  Over 20-pages, we get a crash-course in world-building and go this mission but it’s a all a little too compressed to enjoy properly. I’m sure it echoes the source material as it does feel pulpy (eg loosing subtleness for instant explanation) but the moments of info-dumping distract from a fun partnership with a big human and a soulless human-rabbit (what I can tell that’s what Hai Hai is). I hope I get to read more of their ‘adventures’ as it’s an interesting idea but hopefully it’ll be a little less packed next time.

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