Short Story Club: “Thieves of Silence”

This week’s story is by Holly Phillips, and can be found at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, here. Rich Horton liked it:

Holly Phillips goes from strength to strength. “Thieves of Silence”, at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, is the lovely tale of Zel, a thief who, as the story opens, invades a rich man’s house to steal enough to keep ehr and her lover from ruin. But the rich man’s daughters are witches, and Zel is captured — in more ways than one. Zel’s lover Gannet, meanwhile, schemes to land a rich husband, and so we have a rich net of betrayal and maneuvering, shifting loyalties, unexpected emotional responses.

Lois Tilton, also likes it:

A tale of some complexity. While the witches suggests it was their spell that changed everything, the real driver of this story is Gannet’s selfishness–which is a lot more clear than the working of the spell. Readers should find themselves in sympathy with Zel.


It’s not James’ cup of tea, however:

The story is about a thief who stumbles upon some witches. The writing is nice with some evocative description, but I just don’t get on with this style of Fantasy story. It does nothing for me. I’m reminded of one-off bespoke RPGs that I played many (many) years ago, with thieves and masters and servants. Nothing ever seems to surprise me in this style of story, nothing ever keeps me hooked. I miss the ideas and invention and provocation that a great SF story can deliver.

Did it work for you?