The Constable of Abal

The Constable of Abal

Kelly Link

Accessed here

Dark fantasy works with dark themes, but it doesn’t necessarily imply a piece that’s heavy or slow. While dealing with the subject of ghosts and death (including the death of self, in a way) ‘The Constable of Abal’ actually feels almost whimsical at times. I will admit that I truly enjoyed this piece.

Ozma’s mother is not what is generally called a nice person. Zilla collects the souls of the dead and places them on ribbons for the upper class women in the city as well as telling fortunes and engaging in low level blackmailing. However, Zilla crosses a line that causes them to flee to the city of Brid. Finding herself in the household of Lady Fralix Ozma is forced to give up the life that she was so happy with. By the end of the story, perhaps it is Zilla that had to give up the greatest part of her being-only to truly find herself again.

I wouldn’t call this one cute but there is a lightness to this piece that I liked. More fantasy than horror, it is a fairly light read for this genre-but it’s a solid piece. Link’s writing is smooth and effective. Not every ghost story needs to be heavy, and this one was a nice change from the pieces I’ve been reading for this month.

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