Short Fiction Friday: Dragonkin

Short Fiction Friday: Dragonkin by Lavie Tidhar

There are kin and there are –kin. There are not many dragons, but there are many who think they are, or want to be, or claim to remember being.

I am not that familiar with the stories of Lavie Tidhar, I have only read The Violent Century so far, which is very interesting to say the least. It is unique in many ways and definitely have set him apart from many different authors, so while I was browsing new short fiction to read and I came across one of Lavie Tidhar stories I directly dived into it and just as what I read in The Violent Century, the story of Dragonkin is unique and definitely one of a kind. Lavie Tidhar really knows how to create one-of-a-kind stories with a awesome setting. 

Last week I read The Angelus Guns by Max Gladstone which was a show but not tell kind of story, Lavie Tidhar kicks off his story in the same manner. 

The story begins with a rhyme that doesn't make that much sense but does let you think about what will be told next.  

Tinker, Tailor,
Soldier, Sailor,
Elfkin, Otakukin,
Angelkin, Dragon.

- Traditional counting game

But where you do can speculate about are the mentionings of the different "kin". Elf must speak for itself as well as Angel but Otaku? I had no clue. After this you are immediately placed in the position of the main protagonist of the story Tarasque, in the first person perspective. You learn that she isn't all that human and that she only wears a human body disguise. Tarasque is a Dragonkin She get surrounded by a group of Elfkin, who aren't all that friendly towards her and when push comes to shove, the Elfkin draw their swords and Tarasque does her dragon thing. During the resolving of this "conflict" there are a few flashbacks to how Tarasque got to be Tarasque in her dragon form, which is pretty cool and inventive to say the least. You also learn that Tarasque is on a quest, she is in search for a certain someone, The Primal-Mythago. The lord ruler supreme, god, or any which name you want to give it. During the introduction of the story and the details of how these kin became kin you know that sacrifices were made and people suffered, actually they still are. Armed with her Flaming Sword Tarasque hopes she will be able to do the right thing...

I really liked the whole premise of the story from build up right till the end. The feeling that Lavie Tidhar manages to inspire in his story in on one hand dark and grim, haunting at times and on the other very beautiful when you get down in detail of the emotional side that came along to Tarasque's transformation and the journey she went through. This is precisely how a you should execute a short story. Giving a focus on the world, characters and everything in between, from the big picture down to some very fine details. And even though you get to learn a lot in this story about the Mythago bomb and how it changed the world, alternating the past with the present story and the first person narration through Tarasque doesn't make this come over as an information dump but actually makes the whole story that much more engaging readily placing you on the edge of your seat. You will be racing through this story to find out just what happens next and trust me, this is over far to soon! 

Lavie Tidhar shows that he is a very creative author and doesn't shy away when it comes down to bringing new idea's to the front. He is one of those authors that dares to go into a new direction and try out new themes in his story. The result in this case is just perfect.  


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