Sky and Dew by Holly Heisey – 5 stars
In the Hallows, words are magic, and words can kill.
Sky took a vow of silence and left the world above to keep her city’s magic alive. Now, she wanders the Hallows as an acolyte of the Lost Emperor – an unseen legend from another world whose words fuel the magic above. But when her lover breaks their vow of silence and falls deathly ill, Sky must descend to the deepest depths of the Hallows to beg the Lost Emperor’s help. What she finds, though, is a tragedy that spans centuries, and Sky will stop at nothing to make it right.
Part otherworldly epic and part nonbinary love story, Sky and Dew is a standalone short story.
An enchanting short story about love and loss, Sky and Dew masterfully depicts a fantastical place with very human people facing horrific choices. I wanted it to be longer so I could spend more time rolling around in the beautiful writing.
The magic is fascinating, the setting vibrant, and the characters complex. As I read, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the scene in 300 with the woman who was filmed dancing underwater to be the oracle. This story has nothing to do with that one, but it gave me the same sense of grace and wonder, mystery and horror.
I heartily recommend this story.