The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1) The Grace of Kings discussion

Whats the point?

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message 1: by Valwis20 (new)

Valwis20 I would like to start of on the topic of women as many other commentors seem to consider a deciding point their judgement of the book, I do not believe that it in anyway takes from the book whether the book ignores the entire gender or solves a great many social issues and brings in a new era of peace and understanding. Let us not go down a path of applying gender ratios to books and movies and tv series, I understand that people may sometimes feel greater empathy towards a character of their own gender however as the only women were side characters this wouldn't have added to the story. It must be said that often women were treated as lesser in this time and we must acknowledge that should the author feel the need to stay authentic to this then it is his/ her choice. There were four influencial female characters in the book which were Mira, Risana, Jia and Gin and I found Gin to be a wicked opportunistic snake, Jia was incredibly uninteresting, Risana was a flat character (though I believe the conflict between her and Jia was realistic as conflict between a kings wives was fairly common line in the old stories that the book was alluding to), though all of them held key and influncial roles in the story.

Renee Two counter-arguments, depending on how you want to view this book. First is more simple: there is no "in this time" for a fantasy/sci-fi novel. The author sets the rules - including any prejudices - in the world they build and thus the author chose to include that prejudice in this world. It is fair to criticize that authors feel no need to remain "authentic" to certain aspects of history but choose to include others which perpetuate modern-day prejudices.

Second argument is that this is based off a "historical" time period in Chinese history (the Warring States period through the beginnings of the Han Dynasty). I don't know how familiar you are with that history (and how closely Liu follows it in this book), but women eventually become some of - if not the most - influential players during this time period. Liu could have followed these women more closely while staying true to his source text.

That being said, knowing that Liu was trying to re-tell this point in history, and also knowing that - while there are influential women during this time - there aren't many women at this time, I think he made the conscious decision to include more women. Risana, Mira, and Jia were all real, historical figures that Liu fleshes out with more detail. Gin is based on a real man, but her gender has been flipped. Soto - as far as I can tell - is not based on a real person, or deviates pretty far from anyone I can think of. As far as I know, the figure that Kuni Garu was based on did not make use of female soldiers, or have any particular praise for women. Those are all additions I think Liu made in an effort to correct the gender imbalance in the era he's using as source material.

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