REVIEW: “Emshalur’s Hand Stays” by Anaea Lay

Review of Anaea Lay, “Emshalur’s Hand Stays”, Podcastle: 489 — Listen Online. Reviewed by Heather Rose Jones.

The interplay between gods and their mortal worshippers reminded me a bit of Lord Dunsany’s mythic fiction. What responsibility does a god have for his people? And is it possible for devotion to reflect only love and joy when it’s tied so closely to salvation? I thought the gradually unfolding understanding of the narrator’s identity was cleverly done, though I had to work hard to suspend my need to figure things out and found the first half of the story confusing to follow. I can’t say that this story is one of my favorites–it just missed some of the aspects that make a story click for me. But the originality and the subtle worldbuilding were impressive.