I'm still struggling to put a finger on what genre short story, The Bucket is. I'm not sure it can even be pigeon-holed that way so I'm going to suggest that if you like a bit of action/adventure, formidable female characters and the hardships of war then this is for you. You can probably see why I have trouble describing its genre.
Our narrator is Captain Yidda, a loyal and honourable servant to the King. She has been attempting to win a war in his name but now finds herself captured and in a dungeon along with her comrades- people she has forced into fighting alongside her. Their fates are inextricably linked with the decisions she has made and so she feels that sense of responsibility and guilt deeply, something you get a strong sense of while you read the story as we're privy to her thoughts. The non-linear style of writing means that we jump from pre-capture to different stages of imprisonment and to the outcomes for Captain Yidda and her companions and back again. Although I often find that a bit discombobulating (gotta love that word), I actually thought it created a steady build up of suspense here and made the Captain more well rounded and realistic.
The indignity and humiliations that the characters are made to suffer while captured are described in detail but also really sensitively; it's grim and each new horror felt like a personal blow- I actually really felt for these characters and although I knew things couldn't end well I realised I was intently hoping that Captain Yidda in particular would pull through. I found her to be really interesting- unflinching, strong and single-minded but also so very human- the fact that after losing her hair she allowed herself a fleeting moment to grieve for its loss felt very real to me and in turn made her more real to me too. It's unusual to find a female character like her and I applaud the author for that.
Although it's dark, it's a gripping and intense read and although you'll have finished it in a day, it will stay with you for some time afterwards.
If you want to read The Bucket yourself, you can find it HERE on Kindle for only 77p. Yes, that's right, 77p. Go now!!