Shanti distinguishes herself as a competent leader in a man’s world, but she soon realizes that other women achieve success without first having to prove their worth. As the author, much of this story is my fight against the usual female tropes of fantasy. Shanti battles the coming-of-age princess with magical powers whom she deems unfit to rule, AND she battles a woman who’s more interested in looking like a warrior than being one.
Nearly every page passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. The Land of Princesses is a pink-and-purple, pony-infested wasteland where every girl is royalty, for all the good it does them. Meet Brigid, an underachiever sent off to a bottom-tier boarding school that “teaches the controversy” over science vs. sorcery. There she makes a few friends and a terrible enemy, an enemy so terrible that he can’t seem to stay away from his old school, and is thwarted by someone too young to have a driver’s license. That’s how terrible this enemy is. Thrill to a tale of swords & sorcery, dueling & delinquency, and napping & necromancy.
“Premonitions” kicks the Bechdel test’s ass- and then some. The book is full of well-rounded female characters, straight & lesbian, includes a lesbian relationship, and a racially diverse cast as well, with black and Asian main characters. I LOVED this book. The way that Karyn’s psychic abilities are described was very evocative- it felt like watching a horror movie. I loved the very diverse cast of characters and how all of them had their own distinct personality, backstory, and motivations. My favorite character was actually the “bad guy,” Enoch Sobell :) The plot had great pacing: it was fast-moving and full of action, but still left time for character development. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who likes urban paranormal/fantasy/spec-fic and diverse, well-developed characters. I can’t wait till the next one comes out!!
As it can be gathered from the title, religion is a big theme in this book. As far as I understand, Umayma – the planet where the book takes place – is colonised by Muslims, judging by several mentions of mosques, traditional clothes and set prayer hours. I am not an expert on Theology however, so my sincerest apologies if I am wrong. To Nyxnissa or Nyx, however, religion matters very little. She is a Bel Dame – a lady bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of deserters. And she’s the deadliest of them all – her numerous young lovers can attest to that. She is a citizen of Nasheen, a country where matriarchy prevails and women are the ones participating in violent things that (for some ungodly reason) are still viewed as masculine in our world. Nasheenian ladies show, quite correctly, that “she who fights like a girl” […]
This book is a powerful essay on nature versus nurture disguised as a well-accomplished romantic novel. Are our behaviors and traits defined by our genes or by our education and environment? The novel does not answer the question, but it does make a very strong case that every time we blame our genes we limit our potential and excuse bad behavior. An inclusive book with characters that are varied in race, sexual orientation and non stereotypical when it comes to their gender.
I would recommend this book to anyone but especially anyone looking for a strong female protagonist, who is an antihero. If you think Brienne of Tarth, Arya Stark and Daenerys are badass, you haven’t seen anything yet. The main character, Monza Murcatto, is a flawed, ruthless and vicious mercenary with a talent for manipulation. And she isn’t the only well-rounded female character. There’s a mother-of-3 torturer, a voraciously hungry poisoner, an almost-magical ninja, a lesbian queen and a spy hiding in the guise of a mistress. The main plot revolves around revenge (as might be guessed from the title) but a lot of time is also dedicated to what makes a good leader, how to be a good person in a violent world and the politics of warring city-states (it’s very reminiscent of Renaissance Italy and Germany). Although homosexuality of both kinds and incest are referred to, the main sexual […]
[The publisher provided me with an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.] I LOVED this book- flawless! Sophie Hansa is the perfect example of how a you can have a strong female character who doesn’t literally kick ass. She’s a complex, believable character who develops and grows though the story to be able to face her fears. I love her unique background as a marine videographer and how she uses her education, curiosity, and quick thinking to solves the puzzles the plot presents. The cast of characters includes several well-developed and believable female and male characters, and definitely passes the Bechdel test hands-down. It also has a diverse cast with POC main characters and tackles issues like homophobia. The worldbuilding was also phenomenal, very unique. I loved the city made of a fleet of ships, and Sophie’s questions about the logistics of such a […]
A strong female antagonist and strong female protagonist unknowingly battle over influence on the actions of the main character across all of space and time.
Faith is the heroine of this story, she is the lost Princess of the Home Realms and we see as her life is thrown into complete chaos. She discovers she is not who she thought she was and can no longer trust family, friends, or even her own mind. She is told a prophecy exists involving a saviour child she must bear, and soon discover she has telepathic powers. Faith finds strength and falls in love with her Protector, Jay, who she is forbidden to love. When Faith finally confronts the evil that infects her true home, she must find the strength and belief from within to fight it. I found it extremely difficult to put this book down. It left me captivated with Faith’s story. The author takes you on a wonderful journey which left me wanting more.
I love the strong-willed main character in this book. Hazel has doubts and sometimes struggles with doing the right thing, but in the end she faces her fears to help others. There’s a bit of romance, but I found it realistic and not too cheesy, and it doesn’t overshadow the main plot at all. It’s an easy read- fast-paced & full of action. I do wish the other characters were developed a bit (like Tavi!) but maybe they will be in later books in the series.