Author: Michael F. Flynn
Published in: Analog, June 2014
Slates: Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies
Synopsis: Teodorq sunna Nagarajan the Ironhand and his faithful companion Sammi o' th' Eagles are traveling across the grasslands when they find their way blocked by a great stone fortress. They are captured by the daughter of the local warlord, and interrogated by the warlord and his adviser, the Wisdom. Afterwards, they are rather forcibly recruited into the warlord's "Foreign Legion", go through a training montage and a duel, and get sent out to scout out East (where Teodorq wanted to go, anyway).
My reaction: Another Analog entry that can't stand on its own. It's fun to listen to Teodorq and Sammi cracking wise at each other, and the worldbuilding hints at all sorts of interesting possibilities. But I didn't for a moment buy the "Foreign Legion" bit (especially not for a single fortified town), and there's no attempt to actually resolve those interesting possibilities.
This could be the middle of a really good book. It's a failure as a standalone novelette, and it's going below No Award.
Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/194731.html - comment wherever you please.