The Tamir Trilogy is truly a `proper' trilogy - that is, a single story, broken up into three volumes, as opposed to a series of self-contained, interThe Tamir Trilogy is truly a `proper' trilogy - that is, a single story, broken up into three volumes, as opposed to a series of self-contained, interconnected books. Book 2 (Hidden Warrior) continues the story, as Tobin tries to fit in at court with her cousin, the Prince, the other noble children, and their squires. By this point in the trilogy, Tobin knows the truth about herself, leaving her to not only to cope with her own destiny, but to struggle with a secret that threatens to change everything and everyone around herself.
While not as dark and gothic as the first volume, this one is equally as bleak. We see a young `boy' struggling with the knowledge that he's really a `girl' inside, and fighting the thoughts and feelings of the one, which do not mesh with the other. Confusing matters further is Tobin's awkward relationship with Ki, his long-time, faithful squire. By the end of this second volume, it's clear that they have feelings for one another, even if one can't express them and the other can't really understand them. In Ki, we find the friend every tgirl craves - never have I loved a supporting character more.
Once again, for transgender readers, Tobin's emerging conflicts really hit home, and are handled beautifully. It's a heartbreaking struggle to witness (and to share), but there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. We get the sense that the truth truly will set her free. ...more
**spoiler alert** The Tamir Trilogy is truly a `proper' trilogy - that is, a single story, broken up into three volumes, as opposed to a series of sel**spoiler alert** The Tamir Trilogy is truly a `proper' trilogy - that is, a single story, broken up into three volumes, as opposed to a series of self-contained, interconnected books. Book 3 (The Oracle's Queen) brings all the threads together for a triumphant conclusion. War comes to the kingdom, forcing an end to the awkward stasis that has plagued the land. When the King is slain, Prince Korin must take the throne, having already proven himself a poor choice to lead the land in battle. In order to save the realm from Korin's failings (and the greater failings of his court wizard), Tobin must reveal herself to the world and declare herself Queen Tamir.
Even though we, as readers, know it's coming - it's inevitable, in fact - the dissolution of the magic, revealing Tobin as Tamir, is absolutely breathtaking. It's bold, it's beautiful, and (for the sake of regal legitimacy) it's very much public. This is an act that needs to be witnessed, and witnessed it is! If her coming out doesn't leave you in tears, then you have my condolences for your absent heart.
Sadly, this magical moment does not mark an end to Tamir's suffering. If anything, it adds to it. Many across the kingdom refuse to believe it, either accusing her (ironically) of being a boy in drag, or simply distrusting the magic used to disguise her for so many years. I have no idea whether Flewelling has any transgender friends, or whether she intended to so accurately mirror the experience of a modern day transsexual, but she does a magnificent job. ...more
Well now, wasn't this a fun but of PG-rated shojo manga! Cute, amusing, and deliciously twisted, it's the story of an arrogant bully who is horribly mWell now, wasn't this a fun but of PG-rated shojo manga! Cute, amusing, and deliciously twisted, it's the story of an arrogant bully who is horribly mangled and left for dead after a bus crash, only to have his face reconstructed in the image of his high-school crush (whose photo he keeps in his wallet).
It's a rather preposterous scenario, but the book quickly owns up to the fact, which makes the whole thing a bit more clever than I expected. Although the usual manga exaggerated facial expressions and dialogue are here, the story is actually told very well through the characters.
You really come to emphasize with Rando, finally coming so close to the girl he loves, but being unable to express his love . . . outside of an excruciatingly teasing big sister/best friend sort of way. Rina slowly changes the young man, redeeming the jock/jerk he used to be, while Dr. Manabe keeps trying to push him into a complete sex change.
Definitely a fun story, although I'm not sure there's enough depth to make me want to read the other 5 instalments....more
Before we get into things, let’s deal with the most common complaint regarding the book. Yes, it is sexist, anachronistic, and often patently offensivBefore we get into things, let’s deal with the most common complaint regarding the book. Yes, it is sexist, anachronistic, and often patently offensive in it’s portrayal of BOTH genders. It’s also a book that was first published in 1970, and is the work of a man who began writing science fiction as early as 1939. Critiquing Heinlein for not being properly progressive regarding gender equality 40 years ago is like lambasting Mark Twain for not being politically correct regarding race 135 years ago.
Anyway, the book introduces us to Johann, an elderly, crippled, bitter old man who also happens to be exceedingly rich. He knows his body is dying, but his brain is just fine. So, he comes up with the idea of transferring his brain to a new body upon his death. He doesn’t actually expect it to work, but figures it’s better to waste his money on a sliver of hope than to let his children squabble over it.
Not only does he not expect it to work, but he certainly does not expect to wake up in the body of a woman – specifically, that of Eunice, his beautiful young secretary. Fortunately for Johann, something of Eunice has survived to share her body with him. It’s never made clear whether this is her spirit, her memory, or just his imagination, but it serves to jumpstart the plot past the awkwardness you’d expect of a man who is suddenly a woman.
Once the legal/ethical/philosophical issues are dispensed with, much of the book deals with Johann’s (now Joan Eunice’s) sexual exploits. Again, yes, they’re sexist and sometimes crude, but also thoroughly entertaining.
Ultimately, what I took away from the book was an appreciation for the dilemma of sex vs gender vs sexual orientation - what does it means for a man’s mind to desire other women (while in a woman’s body), or for a woman’s body to continue desiring men (while guided by a man’s mind).
As I said, it’s an interesting book, and one that makes you think. It’s not the greatest story every written, but certainly a great concept....more