This short novella addresses the theme of conformity and how it is not always the best course of action. Anne Bishop ties the location to Ephemera, the place where how a person thinks as well as how he/she behaves affects both the land and the population...the heroine finds solace when she crosses a bridge to "her heart's desire" whilst visiting this place she hatches a plan to free the voice and herself from the results of the "moody day" cakes and the disgusting behaviour of many of the males who live in the "Voices" village. I can not tell you the function of the voice,suffice to say it wasn't anything to her advantage but it did keep the village "happy". As usual from this writer a great read.
Whenever someone is having a rough day, feels sorrow, or is upset, they bake a cake and bring it to the mute orphan girl called "the Voice." As a child, Nalah follows the villagers lead and bakes cakes for the Voice. As she grows older she begins to question this practice, wondering what affect it is having on the Voice.
I typically avoid novellas and short stories, but Anne Bishop is my favorite author, so I couldn't resist. I wasn't disappointed. I love her unique story telling flair and the emotion she puts into her characters. I think this novella works well as a stand-alone story. You do not have to read the Sebastian books to enjoy this novella. Overall, I highly recommend this (and anything else Anne Bishop has written.)
I have always loved Anne Bishop, especially Ephemera. I find it one of the most original world building ideas I have ever come across. With that said, I was still blown away by the beauty of the writing in The Voice. She manages to pack a lot of emotion and not so easy issues into a short story. It isn't often that I go from pure disgust, to hope, to happiness in one story.
The main character is born into a village with a horrible magic. One that is bred into the townsfolk out of self preservation. It is a cautionary tale about what can happen when a group of people make a pact to look the other way whether it be out of selfishness or out of love for their family.
I feel like my brain got kicked and I am a little stunned. I highly recommend this short story!
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