Review of Cassandra Khaw, “Recite Her the Names of Pain”, in Aidan Doyle, Rachael K. Jones, and E. Catherine Tobler, Sword and Sonnet (Ate Bit Bear, 2018) — 263-270. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
Three sirens share an apartment in New York, adapting to a modern world that doesn’t need them to tempt heroes to bind themselves to the masts of ships just to prove their bravery and worth. Ligeia and Parthenope, at least, have shed their previous life and moved on. The third siren (the story alternates between 1st person POV from her perspective, and 3rd person POV where she is only referred to as “the siren”; however, (and I’ll admit I spent far too much time researching sirens after reading this story) I’m pretty sure she’s Leucosia), however, cannot escape the cries of the people who call to her. She hangs out at the archipelago to offer prophecy — what people need to know, not what they want to know. Sometimes, those words are the most dangerous of all.