My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My favourite short story of this series. I’ve always enjoyed Singh’s treatment of her secondary characters more than the primary couple, but this story is especially engaging because of the subversion of the usual ancient male/young female trope. The woman here is thousands of years old, while the man is only a few hundreds. I liked the way their relationship bloomed over time. Also, that a miraculous cure doesn’t magick away the heroine’s disability. Well done on that.
Upon re-reading: Yeah, I can see why I loved it the first time, but I’ve read a lot more since. Pulled the rating down to three stars from four. Singh makes the female thousands of years old and yet keeps her naive and virginal and sheltered. There’s good reason for the sheltered part, but no one who advises kings and angels on politics and history should be this innocent. It short changed the character. Also, it irritates me that the hero was the one to point out the obvious fallacy in the reason given for sheltering her. Like, I understand the woman had self-esteem issues, (view spoiler) but it’s a little ridiculous that NO ONE amongst the hundreds of people who have loved and cared for her (she’s been a teacher to angelic children for eons) ever thought to as her if she would like to see the rest of the world. Anyway, yeah. Still good reading but irksome female characterization. Oh and Meljean Brook did this better in Demon Bound.
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