Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sisters of the Raven

Sisters of the Raven (Aspect Fantasy)

Barbara Hambly

Date: 01 August, 2005   —   $6.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

I think I mentioned before about how many of Barbara Hambly's fantasy worlds have a healthy does of misogyny. This one is definitely near the top of the list. Women of the Yellow City are pretty much at the level of property, and don't even have names of their own— though they are often called after flowers, or a particular task, they can have their name changed when their circumstances do.

Which makes it all the more tense when, in the progress of a years-long drought, it becomes apparent that not only is the mages' magic failing, but that women, of all creatures, are developing it.

Raesheldis, a woman who not only fought to get in to the mages' college but chose a name like a boy, has to endure intense hazing and palpable hatred. The Emperor's concubine, who enjoys quite a bit of status due to the Emperor's attitude of equality toward women, has noticed that other "women who use magic" are disappearing.

And while the city starves for water and religious figures incite mobs against the Emperor's proposed aqueduct, more and more people are coming to blame the women... and at least one of them has discovered some demonic magic to deal with them.

This is obviously the start of a series, which is frustrating since the story wants more and it wants more now. Ah well.

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