***** Das Steingeschöpf – G. V. Anderson
Remarkably excellent twist on the traditional golem story, set in the days leading up to WWII.
In this alternate history, there is a long tradition of sculpting living beings; using a special stone which absorbs some of the artist’s life force to spark life in the new creation. The craft is not without its risks, though…
Our protagonist is a complex young man, recently confirmed as a master “Steingeschöpf” (“stone creator”), but lacking confidence in himself, and hampered by the prejudice against him. On his first commission from the guild, he runs into complications: the golem he’s being asked to repair is no run-of-the-mill assistant, but an unknown work by a renowned Old Master.
A lot packed is into these few pages; there’s a lovely depth and richness to the story.