thoughts on tanith lee's death's master; rape (in fiction) 

i didn't finish the book and i haven't read a lot of rape in fiction so i don't really know what i'm saying but... i can't wrap my head around exactly what purpose Simmu's rape of the nine virgins served narratively. okay, well, it did “serve a purpose” diegetically, but i don't get why the author chose that arc to resolve the way that it did.

death's master; rape (in fiction) 

the way that it's written and framed, those rapes being a means to an end, a noble one, for our hero. the fact that the virgins are basically children... they're 16 but they've lived secluded from the world in a semi-drugged state since they were 13, and they're even written like nagging, brainless-beauty-tropes. i didn't find any criticism of the book mentioning this, so ig it's not that big of a deal, but it really made reading the thing a bit of a drag for me.

tanith lee's death's master 

i also hate that the book is very queer but not really. narasen's entire arc is basically her being punished for being gay. simmu transforms to whatever gender that's the “opposite” of their lover's every time; it honestly felt queerbait-y at times, like no romantic/sexual things were possible between two people unless they were “man and woman”. also Simmu's “masculinity” begins to overpower him whenever he's turned on??? wtf was that about? it was so weird

tanith lee's death's master 

the only other queer character yolsippa. the whole book uses vaguely orientalist tropes, but i felt that it's at its least vague for this one. he's the only major character in the entire book who isn't royalty or demigod or god, and he's written a physically unattractive, cowardly, pickpocketing rogue with a weird attraction to cross-eyed people, played for laughs.


tanith lee's death's master 

all this, and the way that the other protagonists are written, kinda made out the moral code in the book to be beautiful = magical = good in the most bluntest of ways. which i just can't jive with. so. dnf at 65%.

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