I really like these two short stories together, they’re both snippets into the lives of Atticus and Granuaile, certainly not necessary for the overall metaplot, they do add some nice insight
Yes, that’s exactly what I look for in short stories.
Their contrasting voices are absolutely excellent – and both unexpected but really work. Despite Atticus being two thousand years old, in many ways his voice is much less formal than Granuaile’s. But it doesn’t feel wrong – rather Atticus’s confidence and even his cockiness are part his apparent youth but also the confidence that comes with being that old, that knowledgeable, powerful within his parameters and very sure in what he does. He isn’t as overawed and bowled over as Granuaile is because he’s had millennia of doing this – and I think that shows in his voice. A young man with a lot of experience of being young
While Granuaile is a poet. And a poet who is still reeling from the amazing experience and sensation of being a new druid. He language is elaborate, awe inspired, completely overwhelmed by what is happening to her. I think her voice has been really well chosen to respect that.
Both stories also work really well in showing what a druid does and what a druid is. Atticus is doing his thing enjoying life when he, the experience druid, is summoned in to help an elemental in trouble. This is what a druid does and what their purposes. While Granuaile is facing on of the tests on her path to druidy – a test that points to what a druid should be, what values a druid should hold and what is important to a druid. Between them we get a lot of the essence of what a druid is.