Brownbetty's Reviews > Havemercy

Havemercy by Jaida Jones
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Mar 06, 10

Read in February, 2010

I really enjoyed this book, and it really irritated me. I'm going to air my grievances first, as they are the sort of thing that may or may not apply to you, and you can decide weather or not to discount them.

First: The most important plot-role played by a woman in this book is when one is slapped on the ass and called a whore, and a diplomatic incident is instigated. The incident in question is related, and the woman does not appear. Other women do appear in order to be, variously, someone's harpy sister-in-law, a mysterious piece of background, a mysterious piece of foreground, and, in one (1) case, a neutral conversational partner. This is a book with an enormous cast of characters, which splits the POV four ways. (You can add another woman, if you count the titular dragon.)

Second: Where the fuck does this book take place!? They discuss Tycho Brahe, so obviously it occurs in a world related to our own, but the geography is unfamiliar. Is "the Esar" a Tsar? Are the Ke Han Mongols? Han Chinese? Given the derivation of place-names, am I meant to understand that the people in the book are speaking in English? I REQUIRE A COHERENT ETHNOCULTURAL PEDIGREE.

These things aside, the book is very enjoyable! Magical mechanical dragons! Man-pain! Queer romance! Man-pain! Woobies!

Did I mention the man-pain? Um. Right.

The POV switching allows the culture to be examined through various lenses, including that of a scholar (an anthropologist, even) and that of an outsider, which is rather interesting. I suspect Jones and Bennet of dividing the writing this way as well, but I couldn't guess who took what.

The book is quite imaginative, although the solution at the end seemed to me to be a cheat, since I cannot imagine, if that would work, that it would not be a common solution to similar problems, of which apparently there are more than a few.
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Reading Progress

02/20/2010 page 50
12.89% "Please tell me a woman will get to do something at some point. Because this book is really quite likable, which I'd prefer to be okay with."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Wealhtheow No wimmins that I can remember. I think someone has a mother who gets a few lines?

Brownbetty Woo. So, women's big contribution to the plot is being called a whore and getting her ass slapped? C'mon, there's like 5 POV characters, and they're all dudes.

Wealhtheow Hey, whores make your fiction Grim and Gritty and Real! Don't take that away from the writers of the world!

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