Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Review of "Circe's Pool," short story by Pen Clements
The water nymphs love their crystal pavilion and the sparkling waters flowing through it. So much so they can't be bothered to fulfill their bargain with Circe, the island's sorceress.
It's time the pleasure seeking, comfort loving creatures are taught a lesson. And who better than a sorceress to give it to them?
I liked the idea behind this piece. One really cool thing about the dawn of ebooks is that authors now how the freedom to bring back the fairy tale. I love fairy tales. I purposely seek them out to read and have delved into some of the lesser-known fair tale writers (Oscar Wilde, for example, has a whole collection).
It's difficult to really define what separates a fairy tale from just a regular fantasy story. For me, one big thing is the moral/life lesson undercurrent. "Circe's Pool" definitely has that feel. The nymphs are lazy and must be taught a lesson.
However, the lesson they learn was just a little too tepid. In fairy tales it's completely permissible for the bad to end really bad and for the good to have an over-the top happily-ever-after. I feel like Clements could have done more of that. If a morality point is going to be driven home I not only need to know what happens if I'm productive and open-minded, I also need to know what happens if I can't learn my lesson.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this story on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.