The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky

The Seventh Perfection by Daniel PolanskyThe Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky
Published by Tordotcom on September 22, 2020
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 176
Format: ARC

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tordotcom has absolutely been killing it with their novellas lately! I’ve read so many amazing stories of theirs leaving me surprised and delighted. And The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky is no different!

This exquisite puzzle box of a story unfolds from a second-person POV. This intricately plotted mystery reveals itself with gorgeous, atmospheric writing.

Manet, the God-King’s Amanuensis, is searching for the identity of a woman, whose photograph is in a locket. You, the reader, read people’s responses as if you’re Manet, asking the questions. It’s a difficult feat to do well – capturing the voices of so many characters, making them unique while also creating answers that slowly put together the puzzle pieces without feeling like an info dump.

Each chapter, slim as they are, reveals more about Manet and her mysterious world as well as taking you closer to the final revelation.

My thoughts about The Seventh Perfection

To manage all of those writerly feats so brilliantly within a novella astounds me. I imagine Daniel Polansky doing the author equivalent of riding a unicycle on a tightrope whilst juggling flaming swords!

I hope he sets other stories in this world. Because I’m so intrigued by the details he shares within The Seventh Perfection. And I want more!

Because this is a novella, it would be easy to dash through it but don’t. Savor every beautifully written twist and turn.

Your thoughts

Do you enjoy fantasy stories where the author tosses you into the deep end and part of the reading experience is figuring out what’s going on? Or do you enjoy the slow acclimation where the story unfolds gradually? Let me know in the comments below!

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Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

If you’re a fan of SFF WTFery, you need to read Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Although you really need to read the first book in the trilogy, Gideon the Ninth.

Burning Roses by SL Huang

If you’re looking for another gorgeously written fantasy novella, try Burning Roses by SL Huang, It’s a queer retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.


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Thank you to Netgalley and for the ARC.

About Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky was born in Baltimore in 1984. His first book, Low Town, was released in 2011, winning the Prix Imaginales against stiff competition. Two sequels followed Tomorrow, The Killing (2012) and She Who Waits (2013). His follow up series, The Empty Throne, began with Those Above (2015) and concluded with Those Below (2016). His novella, The Builders, has been nominated for the 2016 Hugo award. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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