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Talking Briggs > Abuse Themes in Patricia Briggs' work

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message 1: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments (I really don't like the Topic Title because I don't really think of it as a "theme" but didn't know how else to title it.)
I am currently re-reading Dragon Blood and something occurred to me. A lot of Patricia Briggs' female leads (all of them except Aren in The Hob's Bargain, at least, to my recollection) have been tortured, raped, and/or abused.
Now, I never really noticed this before and the only thing I could figure was because the abuse didn't "define" the characters. In fact, Mercy Thompson seemed to take the longest to overcome her's. Everyone else just kind of moved on with it. Any one else notice this? Any thoughts?

message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily | 31 comments I noticed this too about her female characters. I wonder if it has to do with Mercy being a modern female character with a good support system of friends as opposed to the females in her more medieval settings who don't have the same expectations of happiness, justice and a good life. Not that they're cool with people hurting them; they just don't have a choice but to move past it in order to survive in a harsher world.

message 3: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments I have been thinking on it some more and I wonder if it is also the setting. Her fantasy novels are kind medieval-esque and rape and torture were... I really don't want to say acceptable but they were. It was a very common threat to women and looked at as "You must have done something to warrant it." And obviously we know how untrue that is now. Because even in her fantasy novels Patricia Briggs is very clear that rape is wrong. I just had never noticed it before (and I have re-read all of her books at least once, others several). It caught me off guard. lol

message 4: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments And, I pretty much repeated your point. lol But, yeah. What you said! lol

message 5: by Emily (new)

Emily | 31 comments Nikki wrote: "And, I pretty much repeated your point. lol But, yeah. What you said! lol"

I was having trouble expressing it, so I'm glad it made sense to you-looks like we're on the same wavelength.

On a side note, in her older stuff, I really love Raven's Shadow and Raven's Strike. I want to hear more about that family. Do you have a fave from the older stuff? (Sorry to get off topic)

message 6: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments It's fine, I never mind talking about Patricia Briggs. As much as I sing her praises to *everyone*, no one I know has read any of work so any time I can talk about her is fun to me! lol
Of her older works, it's a bit of tie. I love the Hurog series (and I'm a bit nostalgic about it 'cause that was the first I'd ever read of her work) and I really love "Masques" and "Wolfsbane". But of course, I just finished re-reading both of those. So, had I just finished the Raven books, it might have been them. lol
Of the Raven series, I really wanted to know more about Jess. I loved his character, being kind of split into two different personalities but with the same underlying characteristics. And I love the Phoran! He was a lot of fun to be "side" character.

message 7: by Emily (new)

Emily | 31 comments I loved Jess too-I thought that was really intriguing characterization. She might be writing more Hurog books eventually, right? I thought I read that on her website a while ago. I liked those ones too. After getting through all the Mercy books and Alpha & Omega books, I went back and read all her old stuff. She seems like someone with a lot of heart.

message 8: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments I've read somewhere that she plans on writing more Hurog books. But because of the popularity of the Urban Fantasy stuff she hasn't had time to work on it. I'm not really sure I want her to. It's nice having a definitive end to the story instead of an open-ended long running series. But then I think, "Oooh, there could be more Tosten or Oreg!" lol
She does seem to have a lot of heart and I think that's why I love her so much. She seems so down to earth. And I get wait to go to her book signing this month. My first signing ever and it will be for Patricia Briggs. lol

message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily | 31 comments Yay! How exciting! I'd love to see her at a signing. I've gotten to see a few of my favorites-Patrick Rothfuss gives a very entertaining presentation at his signings. They are getting larger and larger, though, so hopefully he won't tire himself out too much to deliver the goods. He's a Wisconsin author, and I'm a Wisconsin girl, so I've gotten to see him 3 times, twice when he came to do a book signing for the library where I work. I saw Robin Hobb a couple of times when I lived in Washington. She's very down to earth too.
Anyway, you must post on here how the signing goes-I'd love to hear what she's like in person.

message 10: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments I'm so excited I can't even stand myself! lol It's marked on every calendar (phone, home, work) and I even took off work the next day 'cause I have to travel a little and I don't know how late I'll be. It's the first time I can think of that she's come this close to NC (where I live). She usually stays on the west coast aside from the big cities (NY, Atlanta, DC). It's funny 'cause I want a big turn-out for her so she'll come back but at the same time I want a smaller crowd so I don't have to wait as long and get to spend more time with her. lol I'm so conflicted. Trust me, as soon as it's over, I'm going to be telling *everyone*! :-)

message 11: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn I have only read the Mercy Thompson series and alpha omega but I have also noticed the rape theme throughout other storylines by writers I enjoy. Keri Arthur, and KMM have used it as well. I'm thinking it had something to do with breaking a woman down to rebuild her better. Any thoughts?

message 12: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments I think that's definitely part of it. It makes a very compelling story, a woman overcoming sexual abuse and becoming stronger for it. I can totally agree with you, Vaughn.
Now, just for record, who is KMM?

message 13: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 297 comments Karen Marie Moning Karen Marie Moning

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 574 comments Mod
I think that she touches on these issues because these are issues that many women face in this world, and they can relate to that. I think it gives women hope when we see characters in books overcome such horrible experiences and prevail over the dark times in their lives.

message 15: by Moonlight (new)

Moonlight I had noticed this recurring theme in her books too. But I have only read the Mercy and the Alpha and Omega series. I actually like that she writes about the long term affects on both lead female characters in these series. Recovery from a violent assault is like peeling an onion. You get through one layer, and you're good. Then something happens and you discover that there is one more layer to work through. This may sound discouraging but it's really not. It's your minds way of breaking down a tramatic experience into small, manageable pieces. It gives depth and richness to characters and plots of her novels when handled by a talented author.

message 16: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 67 comments Moonlight wrote: "I had noticed this recurring theme in her books too. But I have only read the Mercy and the Alpha and Omega series. I actually like that she writes about the long term affects on both lead female..."
I agree. I think it does add an extra layer of depth to her characters and plots.
I like the way Patricia Briggs doesn't just brush it off. She shows the suffering/struggle without it really being depressing or breaking the characters. Although I did tear up when it happened to Mercy and saw her struggling through the aftermath. Mercy's was described, in detail, while most of the others happened "off-stage."

message 17: by binter (last edited Apr 14, 2012 11:52PM) (new)

binter | 19 comments Moonlight, I love what you wrote about dealing with an assault or traumatic event and will remember your "peeling an onion" analogy.

message 18: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 297 comments I especially liked the way that Anna was handling her recovery. Many abuse victims (and Anna WAS abused as well as repeatedly raped) will, unless they get help, find themselves repeating the pattern over and over with each new relationship. Anna's help was, of course Charles, and his helping her learn to defend and protect herself.

message 19: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (tiffanyswartze) | 11 comments Ok...just reading these comments is inspiring me to finish Hunting Ground, which I started and then didn't finish (not anything wrong with the book, I am just a chronic unfinisher (is that a word?). I have a whole folder in my kindle of unfinished books (24 books to be exact, and among those are Diana Gabaldon's Dragonfly in Amber, Samantha Young's Blood Past, and Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel). But now I am inspired to finish Hunting Ground and take my folder down to 23 unfinished books.

♥ Ashleigh ♥  Contrary to popular belief I'm not actually mad! (cheshire_red) sorry for butting in here guys.

i just wanted to say i agree with a lot of what you guys said - i also love how Briggs characters show'd how they dealt with their trauma, how their actions made it seem more real (like when mercy had to keep on showing) how their friends and loved one reactions werent always great and they made mistake (like adam thinking mercy didnt want him) but were trying their best to help.
it was great that mercy kept having set backs (love the onion theory) - she didnt get over it in 5 mins. rape is serious and i hate it when an author downplays the recovery.
i read KMM fever series and i HATED how mac got over her rape, even though mac consented to her "treatment" (kinda) it just seemed like more rape to me.

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