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Friday, December 14, 2012

La Dame à La Licorne by Anne Marie

La Dame à La Licorne by Anne Marie
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (15 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Age Recommendation: 16+
Reviewed by Astilbe

Danger hides in the darkest of places

Always obey your father. That’s what Katherine’s done her entire life. She studies dead languages and practices knife-throwing. Now Pappa’s listening to a virtual stranger, and she’s convinced the stranger cares more about killing monsters than her own safety. Pappa won’t even tell her what they’re going after. He says it’s because if she knows too much, then she’s tainted by that knowledge and it will spoil the hunt.

Can she trust Pappa’s judgment or leave her future in the hands of the stranger? With only her wits to protect her, she joins them in the most terrifying night of the year.

It’s only after the bruises fade and you’re well enough to try again that your true self emerges.

Katherine worried me from the opening paragraph. The reader knows that something has just happened to her that caused her injuries but we don’t know who or what caused them. In a few clicks of the keyboard Katherine is portrayed as a sweet (if possibly terribly naive) teenage girl who believes her father can do no wrong and yet every time I thought I had her figured out a new facet of her personality or circumstances blew my previous theory out of the running.

Ms. Marie packed a novel’s worth of characterization and plot development into fifteen short pages and for the first fourteen of them it worked beautifully. While we’re given more than enough information to figure out what is happening the last scene felt rushed. I would have liked to see a little more time spent exploring the repercussions of what happened that night. Is Katherine as comfortable with her father’s choices as the reader is first lead to assume? Hopefully these characters will be revisited in a sequel one day as there is so much we still don’t know about this world.

In the meantime let La Dame à La Licorne take you on a late night journey you won’t soon forget. Do yourself a favor and do not seek out any spoilers for this tale beforehand. The twists and turns in it will be far more rewarding if you don’t know what to expect!

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