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Just another series, author recommendation. Jacqueline Carey; Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar.

It is a fantasy series set in an imagined historical setting. That is to say, in the series you will find a re-imagined Europe, Africa, Asia, etc...filled with a variety of cultures hinting at various periods and peoples, the Renaissance, Vikings, etc...

It focuses on the story of Phedre no Delaunay, a very strong female character full of life and depth. She is trained as a courtesan and spy and the story follows her journey from child to woman. She is also marked by the Angel Kushiel and this means that her story takes many unusual twists and turns.

It is a rich story filled with fully realized characters and very in depth description and story-telling. I highly, highly recommend it, even for those who do not normally read fantasy, as it is easily accessible to those who do not normally read the genre. It is not what most people think of when they think fantasy(no unicorns, dragons, etc)

One warning though, it can be very disturbing in some aspects, dealing with some very mature themes and plot. And it does contain graphic sexuality, not out of place for the story, but integral to the series.

At its heart it is the story of one woman who chooses to be true to herself and those she loves above all else.

If anyone else here has read this series, I invite them to comment so as to give the best picture to those who haven't. For those who haven't, like I said, I highly recommend these books!
Current Mood:
awake awake
Current Music:
I Will Always Return - Bryan Adams
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Dear backward_heels,

My name is Ruth, I'm a creative writing student in N.I and in a few weeks, in what some might term a foolish move, I'll be giving my first academic paper at a conference, namely the New Voices conference in Maynooth, just west of Dublin.  I'm sitting on a panel called 'Lyrical Longings' and, for the purpose, I've written a paper entitled 'Hymns to the Exiled: Voicing the Voiceless', dealing with the problem of silent women in literature (focusing on Eurydice) and the problems in rewritng stories.  I thought that I'd post the text of my paper to the community out of interest, to see what everyone thinks.  If everyone thinks that I'm wrong, I might as well find out now, right?

Thanks in advance to anyone who reads - any opinions at all are much appreciated.

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Whee, first post to the comm! Sadly, I don't actually have anything of mine to post... but I do have a contribution, oh yes I do. :D

lukadia has some witty and interesting observations here about the 'domestication' of strong women in the media, particularly movies and TV, and I've been given permission to repost and link to it here. Here are a few samples:

Television has a mission to gentle down wild female characters and then marry them off.

That's how Western stories go. It's what we want. The woman has to be made to cry and become vulnerable on-screen so that the fans will know she's not *really* a frigid cunt at all, but really a tender little princess who was hurt and erected a 'wall' to keep out further pain.

No pretty girl is ever naturally badass. Who would the heroic men physically manhandle during a crisis if the girls could take care of themselves? Ever notice how guys in movies have to grab the girl around the shoulders and hold onto her while they're running away? It's like they're trying to protect her by hampering her escape.

Be warned. TV tomboy independence is actually emotional scar tissue that must be kissed away. Tomboy aloofness is a secret and crushing need for love so powerful it scares her, so hidden that only a man can bring it out. And when he finally gets her to need him, he can basically put his hands all over every part of her and veto her choices while she quietly complies with his opinions, because on television you must hold nothing back from true love, even your identity and your dignity.

And then he takes off her ugly glasses and wow, she's just so beautiful.

Blind as a bat, but that's okay. She has someone to lead her around!

I don't really have anything to add to that, at least not this soon after getting out of bed, but -- please, discuss.
Current Mood:
curious curious
Current Music:
"Knights of the Round Table" - Camelot
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Hello. I did not see that providing appropriate links was against the rules of this community, but if the entry needs to be altered or removed, please just tell me *smile*

And another place that is interesting here in the aether: http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com

Kelley Armstrong is an amazing writer, particularly if you are looking for fiction with not only strong characters in general, but also very strong female characters. "Stolen" and "Bitten" are about Elena, one of the only female werewolves around. And coming in May is another one featuring her, "Broken."

"Dime Store Magic," "Industrial Magic," and "Haunted," are about a young witch, Paige, and her adopted daughter, Savannah. These ones are definitely my favorites.

These are very good books, very well written and very engaging. And like I said, they have strong, multi-faceted female characters that are sometimes rare to find in either fiction or media. I just thought I would recommend them here, and provide the link to the author's page if anyone is interested.
Current Mood:
gloomy gloomy
Current Music:
Shadow Boxer- Fiona Apple
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When the name of this com appeared on my friends page a couple of days ago it intersected in my mind with the superheroine comics, which I'd recently been looking at, featuring women who choose to wear agonisingly high stiletto-heeled boots while engaging in extreme physical activity.

There's also been a series on tv here featuring a woman police officer who'd been assigned to a v.i.p. as his bodyguard. The role involved lots of running and wardrobe had given the character high heeled boots which the actress couldn't run in properly so instead of the director telling wardrobe to give her sensible footwear for a woman police officer they'd gone to all the extra trouble of filming the scenes and cutting them together in such a way that the character almost appeared to be running fast (but only almost).

So what I want to know is do you have a heroine (to your definition of the word which you don't have to justify to anyone) in any medium (tv, films, books, comics, whatever) who canonically and persistently wears low and wide heeled footwear? Or does that kind of footwear only exist in fiction when the characters are uniformed police women who patrol on the streets or uniformed nurses who work standing up all day?
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So, a little discussion question for you all. I've been thinking lately about the recent tv shows I've been watching that focus on the relationship between brothers - Numb3rs, Prison Break, Supernatural - and could only really think of Charmed as having the same dynamic between sisters. Disclaimer: I don't actually watch Charmed myself. So, why isn't there a similar influx of sister-centric tv? Is it just because tv execs assume all we want to do is look at cute guys? That sisters fighting crime, breaking out of prisons, fighting the supernatural are too hard to believe (the late Buffy aside)? It's certainly not the case that these shows don't have strong female characters in their own right, they do (though I'm sure there'll be disagreements about how much here too), but is that really enough?


Current Mood:
curious curious
Current Music:
the Bafta's
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I thought that I'd post this here, since I understood that fics and old ladies were welcome.

Title: Last Night On Earth
Pairing: Mystique/Destiny
Rating: R
Wordcount: ~ 1,400
Summary: How to say your good-byes when they don't know you're leaving.

'It is a small lie, one that she hopes will prepare her for the bigger ones that she knows must come later...'

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