“From Asphalt to Emeralds and Moonlight” by Aynjel Kaye from So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction by Lethe Press (2009). Edited by Steve Berman.

While reading this story I thought it would turn out to be one that left me with a lot of questions, but I was wrong. The text contained everything I needed to know. I wish the story was longer, but only because it was so enjoyable.

There was a color palette to this story as surely as if it were drawn using oils on canvas instead of words. I’m tempted to call it a “limited” palette, but that would give the wrong impression. It was focused. It was bold, but not overdone. Though certain vivid words were used repeatedly—starlight, starshine, silver, shadows—that fact never bothered me. They felt like notes in music, coming back around.

Here, the underlying mythology and story at hand were harmonious. Twins who are lovers as well as rivals to the throne, brought into balance by a red Tara? Perfect.

Red Tara

Undoubtedly, this collection means to add authors and works to the already impossible list of That Which Must Be Read. Here, again, it achieves that goal.