Review of “The Curse” by Marissa Lingen

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Image by Ryszard Porzynski from Pixabay


The narrator looks on as her mother and her aunts debate what to do after her twelve-year-old cousin, left alone for just a moment, has picked up a cursed sword. The family will never live down the disgrace if they can’t lift the curse off the sword. They even talk about raising their mother from the dead. She would know what to do.

Unfortunately, the youngest aunt has used up all her necromancy for a year in bringing back a certain king, so the chances she could bring anyone else back now are nil.

No one, however, is asking the cousin how he feels about the curse or the sword.


The author gives the reader some un-subtle allusions to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the Lord of the Rings, but there is something else going on here. Just the same, the ending is not a surprise.

It was fun listening in on the great aunt debate. They take themselves ohso seriously. It’s nice to hear a well-known story told from another angle. The narrator offers little opinion, other than to acknowledge her mother’s suggestions are no more helpful than anyone else’s.

This is an enjoyable little read.


According to her blurb, author Marissa Lingen is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in the Minneapolis suburbs. Her work has appeared in, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Uncanny, and other places.

The story can be read here.

Title: “The Curse”
Author: Marissa Lingen
First published: Daily Science Fiction, May 4, 2020

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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