Title: The Constable of Abal
Author: Kelly Link
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Ghosts, Mythology
Dates read: 5th September 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Don’t tell her then, the constable said.
Ozma and her mother, Ziller, have made ghosts all the fashion. But when her mother kills the constable, things start to take a turn for the weird. And Ozma might have to find a way to start a new life all on her own.
This was one of those enjoyable, easy reads that leaves you with a nice big smile after you turn the final page. It’s a little bit sad, and it’s a lot bit dark. But, that smile still lingers. Which was the part of it that I loved the most. There’s a happy ending that just feels like a beginning…
One of my favourite tropes in a story is the idea of being completely unloved and unaccepted by your family. Especially daughters by their mothers… I’m not sure why this draws me so thoroughly. But it does, and I always enjoy these stories. Which meant that Ozma and Ziller’s relationship is one that I completely lapped up. Especially even more once I found out exactly who Ziller is and what her history was… then I just sat there with a giant, slightly manic smile on my face.
I was honestly expecting the constable in this story to be the one who solves a crime or goes toe to toe with a trickster. Instead, he is just a catalyst for the split between Ozma and Ziller. One that ends up being an incredibly healthy and fun one. Not quite the trickster story I was expecting, but definitely one that was well suited to my mood…