Whispering Willows is a fantasy/folktale short story from noted Science Fiction author Patty Jansen. I have reviewed Patty’s work before here and here. Whispering Willows is the first of her fantasy offerings that I have taken up.
I always think that short stories face and uphill battle against their larger cousins. In such a short space you have to get across character story and provide entertainment. This is one of the reasons that I think that novels or perhaps novellas are seen as a more satisfactory buy. They offer the reader longer emersion. A good short story is one I think that either hits you with a great concept or idea or some how hooks your in and creates an emotional connection with the reader. With Whispering Willows it was the latter. Jansen was able to transport me to a place that was a magical, medieval, not-quiet-europe(indeed I think Whispering Willows is a perfect example of what Tolkien talks about in his essay On Fairy Stories regarding the creation of secondary worlds). The lead character’s voice was clear and distinct and the dark twist at the end was decidedly Grimm.
I’ll be buying more. I am keen to read her next fantasy project,the start of a trilogy, that rolls out in November. She’s demonstrated to me that she’s one of those writers who straddles the Fantasy/Sci-fi divide with ease. So if you have spare change, chuck a dollar Patty’s way for 10-15 minutes of fantasy fun.
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