Keladry of Mindelan prepared me to be a woman in 2017

I swear, I really am capable of writing about topics other than Protector of the Small (despite recent evidence to the contrary), but the series is far more timely than I wish it were.

I was only twelve or so when I read the book for the first time. This is a little ridiculous, I thought to myself when I read it, and again a year or so later when I read the scene in the conclusion to the quartet when a man displeased with Kel’s command style implies she’s a whore. Grown adults can’t possibly act like that. It’s almost as cartoonish as when the coyote in Looney Toons doesn’t fall right away when he walks off a cliff.

Twelve-year-old me has eaten those words for breakfast after the evolution of the social internet. And as an adult, I’ve reflected on these books far more often than I wish I needed to when encountering men who think I’m unable to do a job because of my gender.

You can read the full essay, including me comparing Senator Gillebrand to the eponymous Protector of the Small, at Unbound Worlds.

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I would definitely binge a CITY OF BRASS streaming series

I have to admit I’ve never really been a fan of Lord of the Rings, so the recent announcement that Amazon’s making a streaming series left me… unimpressed. So I wrote up a list for Unbound Worlds.

Fantasy TV series are having an absolute heyday right now, from the ongoing popularity of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead to the relative newcomer Stranger Things, so it’s understandable why Amazon’s looking for the next streaming hit – but for studios looking to create a new hit rather than just riding along on an existing franchise’s steam, here are a few fantasy novels to pick up that would make excellent series.

Find out what 7 books I recommend over at Unbound Worlds.

I loved Jade City so much, I reviewed it twice

One of November’s most exciting releases was Jade City, the adult fantasy debut of award-winning author Fonda Lee. Set in one of the most gorgeously-crafted and exceptionally plausible fantasy universes I’ve encountered, Jade City is a crime family drama filled with enthralling action scenes and political intrigue.

These aspects ground Jade City in a world that feels lived-in and so plausible that it’s almost harder to imagine it’s not real than having to suspend disbelief. The city the Kauls occupy and control is lusciously real, from the relative opulence of the clan homes to the streets and slums where the jadeless live out their everyday lives. Janloon reads in many ways as claustrophobic: an insular city where anyone who can use jade may find themselves trapped in a life, a family, a clan that can’t be escaped.

(Read the full review at Unbound Worlds)

Another aspect of the novel I appreciated was the complexity and character development of Kaul Shae, who returns to Janloon at the start of the book after fleeing the city in disgrace because her grandfather rejected her romantic relationship with an Espenian man. Shae is much more sophisticated and worldly than her brothers, despite her age; her time spent in college in Espenia has given her significantly more experience outside Kekon — and outside Green Bones culture — than anyone else in the story. She’s a strong warrior, but she’s also a clever and talented tactician, and it’s easy to see why her brothers are trying to bring her back into the family business despite her reservations.

(Read the full review at Girls in Capes)

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Some of the coolest women in SF/F are moms

My newest at The Portalist lists 8 of my favorite moms of speculative fiction:

These women come in many forms, from the women who raised us to the teachers and role models we’ve found in the world around us—even in fiction.

While I couldn’t possibly fit them all on one list, here are eight genre fiction mother figures I’m grateful for this Mother’s Day.

Find out who else (besides The General) is on the list, and tell me about some of YOUR favorite moms in sci-fi.

Check out my most recent manga review at Girls in Capes

Find my latest review up now at Girls in Capes:

With that in mind, as a Madoka*Magica franchise fan, most of the mystery of the series evaporated. While that’s true of other spinoff series as well, the direct intersection of Oriko’s path with the plot of the main series is a major detraction from my engagement with the story.

Read more now.