Tuesday, 1 November 2016

'Frogs'

We're back in eastern Europe for the next story in The Girl with the Peacock Harp by Michael Eisele. This time, though, we are not Tsarist Russia or Austria-Hungary, but in Soviet-occupied Poland. In  this vignette a Russian police officer encounters a beautiful woman and, fancying his chances, arranges a rendezvous of a fateful night. Rejecting the warnings of the local priest, he suffers the same fate as an army of Mongol conquerors centuries earlier...

This is a slight but atmospheric tale, in which magic is interwoven with the grim, bloody chaos that engulfed most of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. It's tempting to try and see Eisele as having an over-arching world view, given how he homes in on certain crucial periods. But of course an author can simply find turbulent times interesting for their own sake.

Another story will be reviewed tomorrow.

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