Title: Honored Guest
Author: Ellen Kushner
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Tricksters
Dates read: 3rd July 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: When I kneel before my instrument, and my fingers bend and dance on the strings, I feel as if I know things no one has ever known before.
Bright Phoenix is trapped by her greedy, malicious grandmother. But a chance visit from a tricky womann might help her escape to a new world, one where her creativity can truly shine.
This didn’t end the way I was hoping for / expecting. Which is probably not a bad thing. After all, I love a good story that surprises. Especially one that was as fun and descriptive as this one. We’ve all met that someone that we completely hate, that just strikes us as not good. The grandmother in this went that extra step further and seemed just downright evil, but Bright Phoenix’s responses and thoughts on the old hag were still completely recognisable.
This wasn’t a trickster story in the sense that many of the other tales I’ve read lately have been. Jessica, or the honoured guest, might have a trickster nature about her, but there isn’t the sense of balance and comeuppance that characterises most of the trickster tales I’ve been reading. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I kind of would have liked to see a little more karma, and a little less manipulation in this story.