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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
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Rape-free Game of Thrones?

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message 1: by Em (new) - rated it 4 stars

Em Hunter | 1 comments Hi everyone! I am searching for a song-of-ice-and-fire-like book or series but that does not have any reference to rape, prostitution, hateful sexist murder and that includes some interesting and well written women characters. Does that exist? I really enjoyed the characters, writing structure, and political setting of the Game of Thrones series for a while but now starting book 5 I realize that I can't deal with all the rape stuff every 2 pages anymore :/ Is there a "child-proof" version of GoT?

Siavahda | 1 comments Oh, dear. That's not going to be an easy find. Um.

The first series that comes to mind is Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books, which are absolutely not child-friendly, but are set in a culture where love is sacred in all its forms and rape is not just a crime but blasphemy. And there's definitely prostitution - but that's sacred as well, and treated very differently to real-world sex work or that in the GoT series. It has really beautiful, intricate writing, lots of politics, and some of the best women characters I've ever read in my life. The third trilogy in the series, the Namaah books, barely touches on the courtesan-stuff (but are still sex-positive) and feature a lot more travelling-around-adventuring than the earlier books, which have more politics in them.

The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series by Brian Staveley is an epic look at the political fall-out of an Emperor's death and dark immortal creatures coming to wipe out humanity, like the GoT series, but much more diverse and frankly way more interesting. I think I remember there being one or two instances or references to rape, and the murder of a sex worker is one of the important threads in book one, where the 'good guys' are working hard to find out who did it and give her justice. Seriously fabulous women, and the elite warriors ride giant eagles.

The Inheritance trilogy by NK Jemisin has a lot more gods taking a much more active interest in the world than GoT, but is stuffed full of politicking and amazing women. In book one, there are mentions that some of the enslaved gods are compelled to serve sexually, including one god who looks like (but isn't really) a child; obviously this is rape. The reader isn't beaten over the head with it but it is there, and justice is served eventually. None of the other books reference rape, as far as I can remember.

The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks has its dark moments - some fairly dark - but again, lots of politics, an amazing magical system, and really excellent characters. I think one of the women was raped in the past, but other than that I don't remember anything. I had the impression that the mother of one of the main characters, whom we never meet, possibly makes some or all of her money through sex work, but I don't think it was clearly stated. There is also institutionalized slavery in some parts of this world and we are told personal slaves get used for sex, which I would consider rape although no one in-world does. We never really see this on the page and honestly I forgot slavery existed in this series after about book 2.

The Eternal Sky series by Elizabeth Bear is basically GoT set in Asia with more magic; the grandson of Ghengis Khan has to go rescue his beloved from ghosts...except she frees herself first. I don't remember any references to rape or sex work and there are so many incredible women running around in this trilogy I lost count of them all. Lots of politics as the grandson tries to claim his grandfather's throne and various bad guys try to stop him.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison is...not exactly GoT like; it's about a young prince who comes to the throne unexpectedly, and then has to cement his rule before some assassinates him. It's a very slow, strangely sweet book, very positive. There are some really wonderful girls, but not many; I don't think there's any mentions of rape or sex work, and there's a whole ton of politics.

The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham is GoT with bankers, and is far more interesting than that sounds, I promise. So, so much politics, empire-building, civil war, fabulous women being fabulous all over the place. Rape and sex work exist in this world but I don't think we ever see it. Some really horrible stuff happens in the process of empire-building, but none of it is driven by sexism or the like.

None of the books by Andrea K Host include rape and all of them include really, really cool women; the Medair books are probably the closest thing she's written to GoT, where a young woman sent to find a magical horn to save her kingdom...comes back several centuries too late. Except then a new kingdom discovers her existence and wants her to fight for them. Absolutely child-friendly, and for the record I'd recommend everything Host has ever written to absolutely everybody.

Robin Hobb's Farseer books/series are very GoT like but more interesting, imo, and told through first person instead of third. I don't remember any references to rape or sex work in the first trilogy. The main character is the bastard of the heir to the throne, and becomes psychically bonded to a wolf. He's trained as an assassin to work for his grandfather the king and is instrumental to saving the kingdom later. I don't remember a lot of amazing women in the first trilogy, but there are some and each trilogy in the series adds more.

The Tale of the Five series by Diane Duane is a feminist, sex-positive look at sword-and-sorcery. In book two, the main character was raped as a child and there's a kind of dubious message that she has to forgive her attacker to move on, which... Well, is dubiously handled. However, there are incredibly wonderful dragons, genderfluid fire elementals, a beautifully positive world, and yes, great women. Although not a lot of women in book one, since the male main character has to go into isolation and really only interacts with the aforementioned fire elemental for most of the book.

That's all I can think of right now... I hope at least some of them appeal/suit you!

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