The Court Magician

Sarah Pinsker
The Court Magician Cover

The Court Magician


I especially admire the skill with which the author inserts into this story random unimportant details (the crippled, elderly magicians in the marketplace, a woman wailing a list of grievances under the Regent's window every night so that he can't sleep) which later turn out to have a horrifying significance.

This is a story about exploitation of the poor or gifted by those in power, one which makes the reader think about how easily and innocuously a person who is essentially kind and good, by merely following orders, can slowly slide into being a person who does cruel and awful things -- and, unable or unwilling to leave the job, rationalizing those harmful acts in order to be able to live with themselves. While I admire the skill of this story, it doesn't mean that I enjoyed reading it.

But then, it is a horror story, after all.