Title: Dangerous Voices
Author: Rae Carson
Year Published: 2012
Synopsis: Errik has been a prisoner--and alone--for a long, long time. He lives for the moment each day when the window of his dungeon cell shines a bit of light onto his bearded face.
But everything changes when he gets a new neighbor--a young girl with a voice as beautiful as the springrise.
They both know the rules: No singing. No speaking. Voices are dangerous. But they can't help themselves. And soon enough, Errik begins to remember himself, why he's here in this dark place, and why his captors will stop at nothing to ensure his silence.
Review: This story was short, sweet, and to the point. The concept is really interesting - voices are dangerous and the prisoners cannot be heard using them or they will be killed. This leaves room for so many questions though, and we don't get them all answered. Actually, we get very few answered. Why are the voices so dangerous? Where did the muses come from? How do Errik and all of the others get caught in the first place? Who is keeping them in the prison? I was left wanting so much more at the end of this story!
I really enjoyed how Carson builds her world and her characters in just a few pages though. We don't know much, but we do learn things from subtle hints and flashbacks. It made me want a full sized novel based on this story - I feel like there's a whole world just screaming to get out. I didn't want to leave Errik behind. I can totally understand why we're left hanging though - Errik has been locked up for so long that I think we learn and know just about as much as he does anymore. I also feel like, as much as there is a novel that wants to come out of this, it just wouldn't have been as effective as a short story.
Dangerous Voices is beautiful and haunting, albeit short. I love Carson's other works, and this story just made me want to read all of the Girl of Fire and Thorns novellas even more now. I hope she continues to write more short stories like this one, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys her writing. It's free, you have nothing to lose! A 4/5 on this story from me.