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Sword & Spore

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This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able to take the throne. At the This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able to take the throne. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


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This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able to take the throne. At the This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able to take the throne. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

30 review for Sword & Spore

  1. 5 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Sometimes you can only do your best and nothing more. Cayhun is a young man who lives in a village near the forbidden forest. They are all told by the village priest not to enter the forest as it contains a demon who is trapped in the King's sword. The forbidden forest line contained different types of fruits and plants, some edible some not. One day Cayhun goes way past the forbidden line and he hears a voice calling out beware, beware. Cayhun quickly makes his way out of the forest unharmed. On Sometimes you can only do your best and nothing more. Cayhun is a young man who lives in a village near the forbidden forest. They are all told by the village priest not to enter the forest as it contains a demon who is trapped in the King's sword. The forbidden forest line contained different types of fruits and plants, some edible some not. One day Cayhun goes way past the forbidden line and he hears a voice calling out beware, beware. Cayhun quickly makes his way out of the forest unharmed. On his return, he finds out that his little sister who was suffering from a mysterious illness has passed away. He blames his father as his father didn't treat his sister. Now, he doesn't want to join his father in raiding another village for food and grain so he flees deep into the forest and sees the very same King's sword. There were many myths about the King's sword. One myth held that the King’s Sword was cursed. Another myth held that whoever could touch the sword without dying would become the new king. Would Cayhun be cursed or would he become the King? Nothing is apart from anything else in this forest. Our roots intertwine. This story is told in nine parts and it has a very interesting premise. The story contains so much information about the plants and spore (given the title is Sword & Spore) that I don't recall another story talking about this. This has a wonderful amalgamation of both magic and science but not enough of either. Parts of it also read like a fairytale. The world-building could have been better but the writing flowed. I think for a short story this felt rather long, especially the last three parts but overall, I really enjoyed this. 3.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    The way out of the forest seemed longer than the way in. The trees grew close together in some parts, and the strangler figs and other vines seemed to be closing off paths. It was like a labyrinth now; it had not been this way before. Cayhun willed his heart not to race. He had seen plants trap insects, finding ways to move their leaves to enclose their pray. He had thought of it as a fascinating phenomenon, one that really had nothing to do with him. But now that the forest was closing in on him The way out of the forest seemed longer than the way in. The trees grew close together in some parts, and the strangler figs and other vines seemed to be closing off paths. It was like a labyrinth now; it had not been this way before. Cayhun willed his heart not to race. He had seen plants trap insects, finding ways to move their leaves to enclose their pray. He had thought of it as a fascinating phenomenon, one that really had nothing to do with him. But now that the forest was closing in on him, he realized there was no way to be apart from the things he had spent his life observing. This was a really interesting mix of fantasy, science fiction, a little elder god action, and a touch of transitional governing - that's a lot to fit into a short story, but I think it worked for me. As always with Tor shorts, available free online - find it here: https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071...

  3. 5 out of 5

    karen

    “Your Highness, with respect, you’ve never won against her.” The King pursed his lips. “I’ve defeated lots of mushroom people.” review to come! read it for yourself here: https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071... “Your Highness, with respect, you’ve never won against her.” The King pursed his lips. “I’ve defeated lots of mushroom people.” review to come! read it for yourself here: https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    3.5 stars This was only about 50 pages give or take, so it’s fair to say that it doesn’t require a lot of time or commitment to get into. But, I will say that it didn’t truly sucker me in until the Wizard was introduced in Chapter 3. Why? Because the the notion that ‘Universes’ had dual meaning as both units of totalities and of measuring time intrigued the heck outta me. I loved how this introduced me to such a splendid poem: *Revolt of the Turtles* by Stephen Dunn. I immediately went off in sear 3.5 stars This was only about 50 pages give or take, so it’s fair to say that it doesn’t require a lot of time or commitment to get into. But, I will say that it didn’t truly sucker me in until the Wizard was introduced in Chapter 3. Why? Because the the notion that ‘Universes’ had dual meaning as both units of totalities and of measuring time intrigued the heck outta me. I loved how this introduced me to such a splendid poem: *Revolt of the Turtles* by Stephen Dunn. I immediately went off in search of it once I’d finished and the inspiration is very evident at the conclusion of the novel, and I like how it was referenced despite its lack of subtlety. I do however think the ending is not enough of a defined conclusion for me though. When comparing the story to its synopsis, it achieves its purpose and results in a perfect match between the two, but without having read the book blurb it feels almost unfinished, like the ending doesn’t so much end as opposed to just stop. It’s not even really abrupt, but it left me with this sense of unfulfillment, like there was a puzzle piece missing or a sock without its pair. And perhaps that is intentional? Stephen Dunn’s poem also ends with the same sense of inconclusiveness, but it still feels like a conclusion, it still imparts closure despite the ambiguity which this story does not. I also feel like I don’t quite understand what message I’m supposed to be taking from this tale. The writing is quite entrancing though; I loved the sci-if fantasy elements and how they were portrayed, both absolute and yet indefinite, a contradiction of cosmic proportions. It’s hard to fully establish characterization in such little a word count, but I still found the Wizard quite riveting; his forgetfulness endearing, his intelligence manipulative, his heart striving to make change for the less fortunate. Even the voice of Ayunsil was very distinct, her hunger and patience were as cloying as Cayhun’s innocence and determination. This a bit of a strange little story, but despite me not fully jiving with it, I think it’s quite an interesting read and would encourage anyone who’s even vaguely interested in the synopsis or just for a quick read to try it out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    This was the original fiction included in today's newsletter from Tor and I immediately ate this up! It reads like a folktale, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This short story also includes elements of flora and spores, which was fascinating to me. It made me realize that I might want to read more stories about plants. "Sword & Spore" had a slow start for me but picked up when introduced to the Wizard. Plot twists in the 4th and 5th parts were delightful and unexpected for me. I really enjoyed the ma This was the original fiction included in today's newsletter from Tor and I immediately ate this up! It reads like a folktale, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This short story also includes elements of flora and spores, which was fascinating to me. It made me realize that I might want to read more stories about plants. "Sword & Spore" had a slow start for me but picked up when introduced to the Wizard. Plot twists in the 4th and 5th parts were delightful and unexpected for me. I really enjoyed the magic involved, however, it was convoluted and a bit confusing, given the limited amount of pages this story had to work with. As much as I loved the magic (view spoiler)[ (especially the multiple-universe element that was touched on) (hide spoiler)] , I wish it had been left out of this one. Instead, I would love to see a novella or full-length novel from Phetteplace set in this world that effectively addresses these elements. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience reading this short story, and I'm excited to read more original fiction from the Tor newsletters. Thank you Tor!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

    Sword & Spore by author Dominica Phetteplace is a short fantasy story you can read for free on the Tor.com site https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071... This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able Sword & Spore by author Dominica Phetteplace is a short fantasy story you can read for free on the Tor.com site https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071... This is how magic left the Kingdom and made room for democracy. Three supernatural beings created by an Omnipotent Mushroom God travel the multiverse until they are abandoned on a planet of stunning ecological diversity. They use their magic to rule over humans, but as their powers wane and a climate disaster looms, a young illiterate man is able to take the throne. I read one of Phetteplace’s other short stories in Lightspeed Magazine (#111) and really liked it. This one took me a bit to get into but got more and more interesting along the way. Themes: beware beware, trapped in the King’s Sword, a mushroom army, the Queen, the King, the Wizard and the village boy who would be king. 4 Stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    Captivating in parts and rushed in others. I know not everything can be/should be 500 pages, and maybe it's indicative of Phetteplace's skills, but I wish this was longer. Anyone with a passing interest in fantasy should give it a quick read. Sometimes after the millionth take on Arthurian tropes I wonder why we're still doing this, and it was while reading this short story that it struck me that besides just being kinda fun...we're in a real dialogue with all of humanity when we iterate on this Captivating in parts and rushed in others. I know not everything can be/should be 500 pages, and maybe it's indicative of Phetteplace's skills, but I wish this was longer. Anyone with a passing interest in fantasy should give it a quick read. Sometimes after the millionth take on Arthurian tropes I wonder why we're still doing this, and it was while reading this short story that it struck me that besides just being kinda fun...we're in a real dialogue with all of humanity when we iterate on this stuff. It's spiritual mumbo jumbo that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So thanks to Phetteplace for helping me remember why I continue to push myself to write fantasy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I liked this pretty well, in some ways it reminded me of the Malazan series, at least in the big picture way. It took a little bit of time to get rolling in a way that made sense, the first section didn't make sense at first. I liked this pretty well, in some ways it reminded me of the Malazan series, at least in the big picture way. It took a little bit of time to get rolling in a way that made sense, the first section didn't make sense at first.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    An inventive take on a common trope. Well worth the time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Per

    https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071... https://www.tor.com/2022/04/06/686071...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bapaye

    I enjoyed the author's voice and rhythm, as well as the tone of the story as a whole. Plus, my worldbuilding nerd heart found a (brief, but I do love short stories) home in the setting and its delightful, off-handed mentions of things like the Wizard's abilities with bird languages and the inevitable twisting of history. "As if the stories weren’t confusing to begin with, the village priests kept changing them" is a great line. I enjoyed the author's voice and rhythm, as well as the tone of the story as a whole. Plus, my worldbuilding nerd heart found a (brief, but I do love short stories) home in the setting and its delightful, off-handed mentions of things like the Wizard's abilities with bird languages and the inevitable twisting of history. "As if the stories weren’t confusing to begin with, the village priests kept changing them" is a great line.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toast

  13. 5 out of 5

    nizza

  14. 4 out of 5

    K

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natascha

  16. 5 out of 5

    cara

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danni

  18. 4 out of 5

    Oseas Benjamin Hudy-Velasco

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nathanial Sydenham

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nick Miller

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Jordal

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scissor Stockings

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jude

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  28. 5 out of 5

    pr0xy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anny Barros

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