It's been a while! I finished Breaking Legacies by Zoe Reed and a whole other book (stay tuned for the next thread).
I have so many thoughts on this one, y'all. So it's gonna be a bit of a toot storm. Strap in and tighten your gas masks.
It's... that's a fart joke, y'all. Because toots.
Ahem. Anyway. Here we go.
OK. So it's a fantasy novel. The man character is a young lesbian. She derring does and the stakes are high. It's all very exciting. She falls in love. There's some will-they/won't-they. I really liked all of those parts. The romantic parts in particular were really sweet and pure in the first... 2/3 of the book or so? #books
Part way through there is a, uh, VERY sexy sexy-times scene. It's very... specific without using anatomical or explicit language. So it's very lewd, but not rude, I guess. Also that's a rhyme, so.
It also isn't just smut. It matters in the plot and the relationship and the plot and relationship matter in the scene. It works because it addresses their emotions throughout. I thought it was well done. #books
Also, I read that bit on the bus (where I do most of my reading) and it was super embarrassing. Not that I expect anybody knew what was up. Still. #books
This book reminded me a lot of the Dragonoak trilogy by Sam Farren. Without spoilers for either story, this is true in both:
The main character is a lesbian from a small rural village. She is illiterate. She has a run-in with and falls for a woman from an urban center who is highly educated and moves in circles of nobility. The kingdom has something rotten at the core. By making friends and being awesome, the main character is uniquely positioned to fix the rot. #books
Oh also: "Fixing the rot" means replacing a "bad monarch" with a "good monarch". Not, like, some sort of representative government or something. Some unexamined political whatevers there, I expect. #books
With the extent of the commonalities (and another that I'll address separately), it was hard to be as in love with this story as with Dragonoak. I don't know if that's anyone's fault at all. It's just, you know, the second time you see something, it's not, well, new any more. #books
There's one more commonality between the two stories. And on seeing it a second time, I think it's a criticism I have of both: The depiction of falling and being in love and relationships is... off.
I can't speculate about the why, of course. But the manner of off-ness is like this. The characters in question fall in lover very hard (not surprising or off) and then seem to stay in that honeymoon phase permanently (that's the off part). #books
Almost all of the conflict (in the narrative sense) around the relationship comes from things external to the relationship. I got the sense that if the world left these people alone, they'd be perfectly in love and perfectly happy forever without any work at all.
Which, like, I understand as a pretty story, but... I guess I found it somewhat unsatisfying? It made it seem like the non-POV partner was less of a person in her own right. #books
I guess I would like to have seen a bit more divergence of opinion between the two characters and some amount of having to compromise. When there were disagreements, it was mostly around one of them being wrong and OH HOW WRONG they were. Which leads me to... #books
I feel like the main character (again in both stories) took a lot of blame for things that were, like, a million percent not her fault? I guess I understand intellectually that there are people who do that, but it seemed so self-flagellatory. There is, in particular, one moment that is treated by the main character (and even many characters around her) as a giant betrayal. But I'm not sure what moral framework exists where she did the wrong thing. #books
She was put in a horrible situation and had to choose between shitty and more shitty. It's not really a betrayal to choose "shitty" in that situation, IMO. The fault for that lies in the person who created the situation, not the person put in it. IDK. I felt like the fiction was saying that it was her fault because no one around he was like, "Uh. No. You did the right thing. Let's try to fix the shitty part, but it's not you. You did the best anyone could." #books
@abetterjulie Thanks. I don't think I'd have even considered the idea if the similarities weren't SO STRIKING.
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