Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Faery Handbag, by Kelly Link

The Faery Handbag really cleaned up in 2005.  It won both the Nebula and Hugo for novelette, and had a Best Short Story nomination for the World Fantasy Award.  And it is a nice story, very complete and well told.  I just don't quite see what the fuss is about over her.  Link has a very nice way with characters, which this entry shows.  Our protagonist is the granddaughter of Zofia Swinks, a decidedly odd person from a convincing but make-believe country.  Nothing of what she says is believable, but there is definitely something going on with her handbag.

The appeal here is Zofia herself--library book stealing, tall, wonderful at Scrabble if she can use her native language. Genevive, the protagonist, is an appropriately angst-ridden teenager.  They have a fine old time with her boyfriend Jake.  It's nice and feels good to read.  Did I learn something new about literature, or fantasy, or anything like that?  Doesn't feel like it.  But if you are a fantasy aficionado (fantasy fan just doesn't scan) you probably already know about Kelly Link, and like her.  Good on you.  3 stars for me.

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