fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

Sherlock Holmes (ACD) rec: Written in the BLood, by

As part of the acd_holmesfest exchange, I ended up writing a pinch-hit piece for someone who'd requested a story involving magical realism. This wasn't something I'd ever encountered beyond a basic awareness that it was a thing in some kinds of literature that some people found quite interesting, so I had to do a bit of research into what it was. To be clear, by research I mean I read the Wikipedia article and a few other websites. It gave me enough of the bare rudiments to put a story together that was well-accepted, but it was really just the most passing of introductions. Still, it was enough of a taste that I wanted to read more.

methylviolet10b's story "Written in the Blood" is like creme broulee to my graham crackers. It's magical realism elevated to an artform, and magical realism with real limitations worked into it; this is fantasy at its best, I think, where the magic and fantastical elements are tools that make a story possible that we couldn't tell any other way, but at the same time don't provide a deus ex machina. And there's gore (Holmes is shot quite badly, and Watson must heal him), and friendship, and character building, and just... I'm not quite sure how to do it justice, honestly. It seems to be a fine example of the magical realism genre, based on what I've been able to learn about it, but more than that it's just a really well-told story about Holmes and Watson finding their footing around each other, and also what a soldier's war-wounds and psychological trauma might cost him in that department. If you' all drawn to the genre, I heartily recommend it.
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