The Witch of Elrica
by Jennifer R. Povey
Published in Cirsova Vol. 4 (pp. 45-55)
DISCLOSURE: I paid into Cirsova’s Kickstarter, and I regularly communicate with the editor.
Marek, bastard son of Ilvia’s king, has a longstanding rivalry with Petor, the heir apparent. To make matters worse, Petor was soon to be married to Princess Kavia of Elrica, further boosting him above Marek in status. However, Marek ends up with bigger problems: Telissa, one of Princess Kavia’s handmaidens, catches Marek’s eye…but Telissa is a witch, and witchcraft is punishable by death in the kingdom of Ilvia. If it got out that Petor’s betrothed brought in a witch, it would threaten Petor’s claim to the throne and cause untold trouble for Ilvia as a whole.
Thus begins the story of The Witch of Elrica.
The story does not do anything fancy or crazy with its premise; it is earnest and strsightforward in itz depiction of Marek’s attraction to the witch, as well as the rivalry with Petor. The conflict is more social than physical, allowing for a greater scope of possibilities- – and you can’t be sure how it will end until you finish reading the story.
The story’s main weakness is a lack of fast-paced action, but not all readers enjoy that; if the reader’s tastes run more towards relationship drama, this story works just fine. Thankfully, the charCters in this relationship drama are likable.
Overall, this story shows that Cirsova has a range in what it publishes; not everything is manly muscular barbarians cutting down demons like wheat and making off with skimpy-dressed dames — though said barbarian stories are by no means a bad thing.
I highly recommend buying the paperback edition of Cirsova Vol. 4, since the e-book version does not allow you to automatically jump from story to story it will be money well spent on excellent fiction that just isn’t being written as much anymore.