Short Story Review: “Damfino Plays for Table Stakes” by Ben Solomon

3 of 5 stars.

A literary rogue is a character that bends rules around themselves, acting independently and often cleverly or with a uniquely manipulative quality. Examples include: Robinhood, The Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, any lead character in a tale by Patrick Rothfuss or Scott Lynch. Often found in fantasy, they can pop up in all genres.

This tale depicts a high stakes poker game between a rogue, Damfino, and a mafia boss. Damfino relentlessly wins and raises the stakes to include the lives of the mafioso’s henchmen. The tale is clever in Damfino’s game, but vague in his method. He denies luck plays a part. But clearly, he’s playing more than just cards . . .

This tale appears in Abbreviated Epics, a Third Flatiron Anthology, edited by Juliana Rew.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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