REVIEW: “The Witch and the Fool” by Emily Swaim

Review of Emily Swaim, “The Witch and the Fool”, Luna Station Quarterly 42 (2020): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This story was a rare exception to my usual dislike of 2nd person POV — partly because it started off with a clearly-voiced “I” who speaking to someone who has just been born, so it’s clear that the narrator is not talking to me, the reader. Instead, Ariella the witch, the narrator, tells not only the story of the nameless “you” she’s addressing, the titular fool, but also the story of her sister Zora, another witch and driven out of the city where the fool was born a long time ago.

Part of this piece felt like it was notes for a grander story, some epic sort of novel. Nevertheless, it was still sufficiently detailed and self-contained, and I enjoyed it.

(Originally published in Complex Fairy Tales,, 2016).