Reading report: King’s Dragon and Prince of Dogs
In other news, devoured King’s Dragon and Prince of Dogs, the first two volumes of Crown of Stars by Kate Elliot. And wow. It’s amazing. I’ve bitched before about the lack of historical realism in fantasy, but this book gets so many things right I don’t know where to start. It’s got depths, and a real sense of a world with a complex history, and many cultures interlocked. It’s got a very real religion, which is omnipresent in everyday life, and not continually questioned by 90% of the characters (one of my favourite characters, Alain, is a devout man). And the matter-of-fact inversion of genders is fascinating: in Elliot’s world, inheritance can go through the female line–a concept supported at all layers of the society from village to kingdom, and also in religion. You feel it as something organic which naturally derives from the societal structures, and not as an abstract thought experiment that doesn’t fit in with anything else (there is nothing that annoys me more than anachronistic feminists, probably because I’m prone to the fault; and I love the fact that it’s so natural for everyone that it’s not even discussed).
Fortunately, there are more volumes in the series 🙂
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Sounds like a couple of books I need to put on my “to read” list.
“there is nothing that annoys me more than anachronistic feminists”
Amen! That’s what killed “Pillars of the Earth” for me.
And amen about how hard it is to write a strong female character who nevertheless lives in a very patriarchal society.
So far (two books and a half in), they’re wonderful. Definitely low-key on the magic, but that’s never been a problem for me.