Book Cover
Title Waters of Versailles
Series ---
Author Kelly Robson
Cover Art Kathleen Jennings
Publisher Tor.com - 2015
First Printing Tor.com - 2015
Category Fantasy
Warnings None


Main Characters


Sylvain

Main Elements Nixie
Website Tor.com Originals




Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson is a charming novella of court intrigue in 1738 Versailles as a clever former soldier makes his fortune by introducing a modern water system (and toilets) to the ladies of the palace. He does this with magical help that he may not be able to control.




I really enjoyed this fantasy period piece. Sylvain, a commoner, dreams of power and riches in the court of Versailles. To achieve this, he has to have something they want, and in this case, it's indoor plumbing. We may take our flush toilets for granted but imagin e not having them and you'll see why it was THE thing for the up and coming to have...or in the case of the King himself, when his cat decided it liked the bowl of his first toilet, he required a second.

Now how did he manage to get this new technology all set up? Well, he had a little help from a nixie he captured as a tadpole. She now lives in a cystern beneath the palace and controls the flow of the water throughout the building. But she's young, and plumbing is kind of boring, so Sylvain is forced to find ways to make his prisoner do what he wants...and in the process stops seeing her as a slave, but as an intelligent and playful being that he comes to grow very fond of, and perhaps, can no longer callously use to further his own personal ambitions that are, after all, starting to look more shallow and empty by the moment.

I thought it was beautiful, and unlike so many short stories that try to be "literature" (i.e. impossible to comprehend without taking a phd level English course), this one is just a sweet tale that makes us think a moment about what's really important in life.




Posted: October 2017

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