There’s… a lot going on in this book, and having given myself the chance to sleep on it, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Even trying to make a pros and cons list hasn’t helped much. Pro – interesting system of magic. Con – weird theological angle. Pro – bisexual protagonist, yay for representation! Con – save for a single passing reference in the epilogue, all the homosexual relationships portrayed are various forms of abusive. Pro – several interesting female characters whose stories I’d like to learn more of; con – I can’t recall them, at any point, passing the Bechdel test.1
At very least, though, I can’t say the book wasn’t interesting. It took quite a while to really grip me, but by about halfway through I found myself loathe to put it down. Which, in retrospect, is the same way I tend to feel about Diana Wynne Jones, and she wrote some of my favorite books I’ve ever read, so… I suppose, by that metric at least, I enjoyed it.
- Admittedly, I wasn’t keeping an eye out for it, and am now trying to recall from memory. I suppose there’s a scene where two of the aforementioned interesting female characters discuss one’s past, but it’s mostly in the context of her father, so… ↩
- This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores. ↩