This trilogy of books is written from the perspectives of a variety of strong and (hopefully!) interesting women, both “good” and “bad”.
WOW. This book was fantastic. After several days, I keep thinking about this book. It had a very dreamy atmosphere (which goes perfectly with the title & subject). The worldbuilding was super interesting, with just enough exposition so that you feel like you know what’s going on, but are still curious to learn more, without forcing it down your throat with boring exposition dumps. Really, perfectly done.
The characters were also very interesting and likeable, with complex personalities. Well, except maybe Arevin, he was a little dull. But that didn’t detract from the book at all IMO.
I loved the subtle progressiveness in showing same-sex couples and even triples (a child having three parents is treated as normal & unremarkable). That is awesome, and I wish more spec fic books did stuff like that.
I also loved how there were all these separate story threads at the beginning, that all came together neatly by the end.
I would only warn readers that some parts of the book feel a little melancholy and even a bit depressing. If you’re up for it, keep reading! It gets happier, and reading this book is well worth it :)
I want a sequel!!!
In Passion’s Sacred Dance, our heroine, Stacy, runs a history museum that also sits on ground sacred to the Tuatha dé Danann. When they (and their enemy Balor) each come to her requesting permission to use said ground, it’s up to her to decide which side to give it to. In the course of the book, though she does fall in love with a Tuatha dé Danann warrior, she faces the evil Balor’s men down quite a few times, sometimes, singlehandedly.
Kelsea Raleigh has been hiding her whole life, but on her nineteenth birthday, it was finally her time to claim her rightful place as The Queen of the Tearling. She is not perfect. She’s a typical 19 year old girl with all of the inherit insecurities and inexperience. She’s not exceptionally beautiful or talented, she’s just a girl who loves history and books who happens to have been born royal.
It features political intrigue, an amazing an intelligent heroine, and no romantic sub-plot.
This book has an awesome main character who refuses to be cruel like a dragon should!
Dragon culture in this world is a lot like our hyper-masculine, macho culture where strength and violence are worshiped.
The author, Rachel Aaron, says that Julies is “my answer to the question ‘is it possible to get ahead without hurting others?'”
All throughout the series, dragons are constantly telling Julius to “be a dragon” or “grow some fangs.” These comments are very similar to the reader questions I got about Julius “growing a pair,” and my ultimate reply to both is the same: never. Julius will never act like that. Not because he is weak or cowardly or effeminate (and hoo boy, that’s a whole other angry-typing post about how acting nice=weak=female=bad), but because ruthlessly stomping on your enemies and pushing others out of the way to get ahead—all aspects that are held up as positive traits by dragon culture and in certain areas of our real world that I’m sure we can all name–is a fundamentally bad way of doing things that drags us all down as a species.
That’s the point. That’s the underlying truth of the whole series.
The book also has several very strong and well-developed female characters (both protagonists & antagonists)!
The Honours doesn’t really fit into any categories. It’s a bit Lovecraft, a bit English folk horror, a bit school girl adventure. In fact the author has provided a tongue in cheek approved list of genres.
Set in the 1930s in a stately home in the east of England, Delphine, the 13 year old protagonist, has joined her parents living in some kind of commune. She is lonely, ignored and desperately trying to help her father who is suffering from PTSD since WW1. Delphine discovers tunnels under the house and overhears all kinds of things that make no sense to her. There are inexplicable & terrifying “things” living in the woods and whispers of a coming war but only the game keeper shares Delphine’s concerns.
Delphine herself is great: fierce, always brave despite her terror, intelligent, resourceful, but desperately lonely. She’s also a crack shot with any antique firearm she can get her hands on.
The fact that Tim Clare is a poet is apparent from his beautiful use of language throughout. I found myself totally immersed in the world he creates.
I really want to write more about this book but describing why it’s so brilliant would necessitate spoilers.
Please just read it.
Besides the “author” using more than one gender-neutral pen name to highlight the difficulties of female writers in our culture, the main characters must re-evaluate gender identity. One character, Odys, gains a female Automaton who is an extension of himself (meaning, he has two bodies and one is now female).