“Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El–Mohtar

August 16, 2017

“Seasons of Glass and Iron” is the HUGO 2017 winner for best short story and was published on Uncanny Magazine Issue 13: November/December 2016 and originally published in The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales.


Tabitha has to wear seven pairs of painful iron magical shoes in a row until they wear out. In her journey she meets Amira: A princess that has placed herself on the top of a glass hill.


Two fairy-tales collide into one so to find solace to each other. A story that is allegorical about patriarchic societies and women facing oppressive men and rules set by men. These two women feel that it’s only natural to endure these ordeals until each gets to know the other’s and understand that they don’t deserve it. The only way to go forward and remove their bonds is by solidarity and love. Also the numbers which are used as magical are one and seven. There can be multiple meanings behind these numbers such as their biblical meaning which are unity (1) and completeness (7). The writing is in a ways lyrical which is to be expected due to Amal El-Mohtar’s previous work. Most of the story seems to focus on the dialogue between the two female characters. We learn more about them through their questions and answers and we start to feel their connection building up by noticing how they touch each other or react with the environment.

Wrap Up

  • 8.5/10
  • 8/10
  • 8/10



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