Weregild by Kristen Lee Knapp


Tell us what you thought of the February 2010 issue.

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Post March 07, 2010, 01:42:17 AM

Weregild by Kristen Lee Knapp

This definitely seemed like a throwback to the pulp stories of yore. Mr. Knapp's style is minimalist, brutal, and very much like the character he's portraying. I wasn't sure if this is his normal method of writing, so I perused some of his previous works published on Aphelion. Apparently, based on some comments, this is his style. For most plots, I can't see this working very well. However, for this particular protagonist in this particular setting, his style is oddly apropos.

I enjoyed the story for the nostalgia factor. Igral could definitely rub elbows with Conan, Red Sonya, and Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. However, the story suffers from some of the same issues as with those pulp stories. The character is shallow. She's not clever. She is more a force of nature than a human being. The prose is violent and vulgar. Blood and rape are common elements. Then again, it is pulp material.

A couple of suggestions. I would have preferred more description, pulp notwithstanding. Also, the theme is not original. It's pretty much a run-of-the-mill revenge story. A little variation or twist would distinguish this story from the myriad of others following this plot.

Oh, one item that I appreciated. The writer wrote "loosed the arrow" and not "fired the arrow". The term firing an arrow came after the introduction of guns and gunpowder. It's a pet peeve of mine when fantasy writers use the f-word. ;-)
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
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Post March 07, 2010, 09:35:06 PM

Thanks very much for reading, I appreciate your comments. :D
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Post March 12, 2010, 10:34:53 PM

Oh, and as far as the "loosed the arrow" thing, I happened to be a fairly accomplished archer. I'm also a history minor, specializing in pre-Renaissance world history, which i think adds some level of realism to my medieval fiction. I'm also a big fan of the pulp-era fiction, especially Conan, so that's a huge source of inspiration.

Again, thanks for reading!

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Post March 16, 2010, 09:41:43 AM

The intro worked, it edges into the story drawing the reader with it. However, the atmospheric effect of the intro vanished, and we are left with a very strong and determined girl. I pity the dud that tries to rape this one in a dark alley in New York City!

I agree with Jamie on this story. Igral is too shallow. She should be multi- dimensional, and a tad more description would have helped.

It’s interesting that Jamie caught “loosed the arrow’’ and not “fired the arrow.” I would have stumbled over that expression and probably came to the conclusion that it was colloquial to the language of the story.

The story is dynamic with just the right amount of breaks to catch one’s breath.

I’m really not into pulp-fiction or sword and sorcery stories much, but I am trying to read more of them.

This one held my interest. :D
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Post March 17, 2010, 10:29:38 AM

I agree that Igral needed more personality in her character.

Lots of action moves the story along quickly, and it's well-paced. I liked it.

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