3 of 5 stars.
This is a fantastical folktale in which 3 sisters journey to the world tree in order to bring Spring back in a world of endless winter. They’re guided by a parable etched in stone along the journey that tells of a brave wolf, a clever fox and a little dove that journeyed through winter to the river of the Swan King. Wolf faced the Swan King who stood in the way of the verdant fields beyond. The fox came up with a plan. And the little dove found the acorn that brought forth Spring. But not before the wolf sacrificed herself for the plan to work.
The sisters try to follow the parable as a guide while avoiding the fate of the characters within the parable. They are also armed with the knowledge that their parents died trying to do the same thing. Rose [the wolf] was trained in the ways of the sword by her mother. The narrator [the fox] was trained in the ways of magic by her father. Lily [the dove] was born during the parents attempts to thaw the world tree. They sacrificed themselves so that she might live to try again.
The world tree is protected by wolves that seek to bring down all of the trios making pilgrimage to bring about Spring.
This tale works in its form as a fantastical short story. World building is minimal and narrow-focused. Character building is reduced to the narrowly defined parameters of the parable.
This tale was a quarterly contest winner appearing in Writers of the Future: Volume 33 edited by David Farland.
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