This story was the cover story for the December 2013 issue of Asimov’s. It was nominated for the Nebula. It is the first in a series of YA fantasy stories and novels set in the world of Pearl, which I developed at Clarion West under Chuck Palahniuk, George R.R. Martin, and Kelly Link.
The painting was created by Alexandra Manukyan for the cover of Asimov’s.
Here is some critical reaction to the story.
Here is some reader reaction to the story.
Here is where you can read the story for free.