#50 – The Redwood Rebel, by Lorna George
- Read: 4/23/17 – 4/27/17
- Challenge: Mount TBR (42/150); Beat the Backlist (15/40); #readselfpublished
- Rating: 4/5 stars
A fairly standard fantasy-rebellion plot that gets upstaged by the FANTASTIC culture-clash romantic subplot. Seriously, most of the time when the romantic leads come from different fantasy-lands, one culture is “good/educated” and the other is “evil/savage,” or sometimes, even, they’re portrayed as civilized/backwards on the sole axis of modern feminist ideals.
Don’t get me wrong, I want women to be empowered, but if you want to make a culture “bad” just by making it not-feminist, that’s a lazy way out. Dig deeper, or at least work out the full implications of how your “bad” society would effectively govern and function, please.
Anyway, I’ll step down from my soapbox now.
Here, some standard fantasy tropes are subverted, especially regarding virginity, both male and female (yay!)–and neither Naomi’s nor Arun’s cultural biases are wrong, they’re just different. I feel like I’ve been waiting to see a romance like this one FOREVER, and they’re not even really together yet! (More, please. I want to see how these two stubborn babies reconcile their differences.)
The one major flaw I saw in this work was the weak villains. Adrienne’s only two character traits are being spoiled and stupid, and Cygnus is an underdeveloped behind-the-scenes manipulator type who uses her to gain power. There’s a lot of potential there, but they never feel as authentic as Naomi or Arun.
That being said, I still had a hell of a good time reading this.