This trilogy of books is written from the perspectives of a variety of strong and (hopefully!) interesting women, both “good” and “bad”.
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)!
he primary setting of the series seems to be a mysterious Library – a place that is all about finding “unique works of fiction and saving them in a place out of time and space”. The Library is treated as its own world, with its own laws and regulations, social hierarchy, treaties and agreements, and its own language. The protagonist, Irene, is a bisexual librarian spy turned detective whose job is to jump across alternative worlds and retrieve rare works of fiction for the Library.
The book features rich worldbuildiong with characters of many races, professions and sexualities. It’s the first in a series that promise to deliver more noir librarian mysteries set in steampunk-y alternative worlds. Our main character has a strong sense of duty which conflicts with her desire to solve mysteries and learn more about the Library. The seeds of this conflict are planted in this first book and it will likely be explored further in the next books.
I really enjoyed this book – mostly because the main character has my dream job of a Librarian Spy! The world created by the author is addictive and captivating, and I urge everyone to grab a copy!
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.