REVIEW: “Many Mansions” By K.J. Parker

Review of K.J. Parker, “Many Mansions”, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 313 (September 24, 2020): Read online. Reviewed by Richard Lohmeyer.

If you’re a fan of K.J. Parker’s work, as I am, you’re likely to enjoy this story—the first of four in BCS’ over-sized 12th anniversary issue. I have read many of Parker’s stories and enjoyed his amusingly cynical characters. I can’t help pointing out, however, that there is a certain sameness to much of his work. Most (if not all) feature a first-person narrator who smugly believes himself smarter and more capable than other people only to get his come-uppance by story’s end. In this case, it’s the snobbish, too-sure-of-himself Father Bohenna who has been sent by his religious order to investigate why two seemingly bewitched girls each claim that a woman entered their dreams and stuck them with a brooch pin. The identity of this woman, how Bohenna locates her, and the way each are eventually humbled through the intervention of a third party is what the story is about. It’s a well-told and amusing story, even if long-time readers can detect a hint of familiarity in the plot.