Release Date: March 1, 2019
Received From: Requested review copy from the author
A mysterious woman known only as The Oracle resides on the seashore, blessing ships and telling fortunes for those who can pay her price. For new-made ship captain Theo Marinos, the price is higher than it first seems.
If Theo has any hope of surviving their ship’s first voyage, they must trust not just in The Oracle, but in themself–for the journey is long, and the ocean’s tests are many.
SEXUALITY: asexual spectrum
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: aromantic spectrum
PAIRING: queerplatonic relationship
TAGS: new adult, fantasy, queer characters, autistic character, ownvoices
WARNINGS: open water, drowning, deadnaming
THE QUEEN OF CUPS is an interesting adventure fantasy and great short story!
I very much enjoyed the main character, Theo, and I loved getting a glimpse into the varied relationships in their lives. Seeing them interact with Alexis, their queerplatonic partner, was really lovely, and I enjoyed all the scenes with the two of them, particularly the ones where they’re cuddled up and soothing each other. It’s so great to see a qpp in fiction, even in such a short format, because they don’t get as much love or attention as other kinds of relationships.
The main fantasy element was a surprise, but an enjoyable one! I won’t spoil anything by sharing here, but it was an interesting take on death and life, and I really would love to see Basel expand on it in a longer story (or stories)!
Also, all in all, I enjoyed the representation to be found within the pages. I found the gender rep to be interesting and on the up and up for both Theo and Alexis, who is a trans woman. There’s one instance of what I read as a form of deadnaming that was a little surprising, but otherwise, I enjoyed the way gender was presented and respected throughout the story.
My only wish coming out at the end of this is that it had been longer, but despite its short length, the story really was quite satisfying.
Ren Basel (they/them/their) is an independent creator focusing on queer experience. They live in Florida, where they also perform as an actor and stage combatant.
Ren Basel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.