It is quite impressive that in such a short piece, Brasher makes the reader care about the characters. I love that the heroines have flaws and weaknesses. The complicated interpersonal relationships between the women are believable.
Brasher gives us a good understanding of the environment and magic, which has some unique touches. Her writing style is accessible and engaging, avoiding the verbiage so common to beginning writers in the fantasy field. She creates some lovely images, “Kallinesha could only feel others’ magic when it was strong enough to set the air tingling like sand thrown against her skin by a sudden wind.”
The Chaos Mage is an intriguing and terrifying villain. Readers will want to know if and how he can be defeated.
However, I’m not sure I would call this a short story. It is more of a teaser for other writing to come.