Fantasy Short Stories Short Fiction Reviews

‘Cold Iron Comfort’ Short Review

Cold Iron Comfort is the story of a person entranced by a Fae who becomes abusive in their relationship until they finally escape. We see their journey as an abuse survivor, becoming more sure of themself as they find a friend and begins to believe they deserve a life without this evil being. Complications are natural given the Fae ability to easily travel between worlds and use magic to control humans. They find a way out of his life for good with the help of a friend and begins anew.

This is a tale of empowerment, showing a person who doesn’t know their own strength until they’re confronted with the horror of going back to this abusive relationship. Their journey is the journey of many abuse victims. In this instance, they’re entranced by the Fae world, stuck within its boundaries because of their powerful lover whose scary personality shifts at the snap of a finger. They’re essentially his servant, owned by his words and magic. It’s when they return to the human world and discover what they’ve missed that they become determined to get out of that life. The ending is extremely satisfying as we see them cast out their abuser for good. His promises become a magic-bound pact and they become truly free from a lifetime of looking over their shoulder wondering if he’s following them.

Cold Iron Comfort is a story of overcoming abuse by discovering your own strength. Stone has created a powerful narrative that needs to be read.

Cold Iron Comfort

Written by Hayley Stone
Apex Magazine
February 2019

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