‘The Huntress’ by Sofia Samatar

The Huntress by Sofia Samatar, 2017

The magic trick:

Building a big fantasy story but keeping the plot specifics vague

S is for Samatar.

This story is an intense flash of lightning. It starts, it moves, it ends. You barely have time to settle into your chair. For every two sentences of seeming explanation, there is a third sentence that opens up ten more mysteries. It’s a riddle of a story like that. We’ve all read stories of this kind before, I’m guessing. What really makes this one cool, though, is the nature of the mysteries it leaves unsolved. In a sense, this is a fantasy story. Big monsters. Calamitous attacks. Those aren’t the kind of stories that usually vanish without answers. Then again, this ins’t your typical story.

And that’s quite a trick on Samatar’s part.

The selection:

The Huntress left dark patches wherever she passed. She left a streak. In the morning, the hotel staff would find me unconscious, gummed to the floor. The proprietor weeping, for nothing like this had ever happened in his establishment, nothing. Had I not read the instructions on the desk?

The fierceness can be seen around the mouth. I compress my lips when I’m thinking. Our dad was the same way.


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