Twelve Dancing Priestesses by L.T. Getty

Twelve Dancing Priestesses by L.T. Getty
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Historical, Horror
Length: Short Story (29 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Daisy

For almost a year, every month surrounding a full moon, young girls have vanished without a trace from their homes in their small town and its surrounding farms. Just before the next child is set to disappear, a young stranger arrives. Only, she too is a young girl, a strange traveling musician who holds a bond closer to her fiddle than to any human being, and those who hear her say she wields an otherwordly power when she plays.

This short is haunting, a new story which resembles fairy tales of old. Arella has her own, odd, way of speaking which singles her out as well as creates her character. She and her fiddle are joined as if one, with striking similarities to the pied piper when the locals’ concern is taken into account.

The plot is fast paced and reaches a surprising conclusion which is intriguing, if not entirely satisfying. There is need for the twist to be better foreshadowed in the main text as it comes out of nowhere rather than acts as a true surprise.

However, that should not detract too much from Getty’s accomplishments here. There is consistently great description and an air of homelessness to the story. It is obviously in the past but an exact century or decade, even country, would be hard to pick. Far from being a problem, this is a virtue. It has the enchanting allure of allowing me to place the action in my own back garden, should I wish. This makes the horror later on seem all the more real.

Getty does the job: she portrays a small town and its culture down to minute detail. In the process, she creates a magical world on the border of history and place, a fairy town for a new fairy tale.

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