Review of Katrina Carruth, “Omen,” Luna Station Quarterly 48 (2021): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.
Cissa is the daughter of an Augur, forced into hiding when the evil king came to power, enslaving all the Augurs to his purposes or driving them away. Cissa herself isn’t an Augur because only men can be Augurs, but she’s still guilty by association. There is no hope of escape, no hope of any future for Cissa, only endless hiding, so one day she decides to take matters into her own hands, go to the river and collect the moss beans whose noxious gasses can incapacitate or kill. But before she can safeguard the beans, she is captured, and brought before the king.
Of course, we know — the narrative demands it — that the evil king will not triumph, and that Cissa will find the power she needs to defeat him. What wasn’t obvious until it happened was how she would do it, and that resolution, when it came, was appropriate and satisfying. A solid story.