“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” is Mandolin’s first novella, just published online by Subterranean Press. Her longest pieces, in the past, have been novellettes; this is her longest published work to date.
It’s also my favorite of any of Mandolin’s stories. I love the anti-hero protagonist; I love the epic scope of the story; I love the supporting characters. I think this story deserves to become Mandolin’s second Hugo nomination, and her second Nebula nomination as well.
So: Take a little time. Get up, leave the computer, and make yourself a bracing hot cup of coffee or tea, whichever you prefer. Sit back down, warm beverage in hand, and turn off the instant messaging and the twitter and the text messaging and all the other things that beep or boop at you every ten minutes. And read it.
If your story preferences are anything like mine, you’ll want to read it twice.