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Book Title: The Bristling Wood|
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Reader ratings: 5.9
The author of the book: Katharine Kerr
Edition: Spectra Books
Date of issue: April 1st 1990
ISBN 13: 9780553285819
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 833 KB
Read full description of the books:
The world building of this book is incredible, the dialogue and writing in general are wonderful and entertaining to read, and I love the whole reincarnation plot. In this book there are only really two main parts, which means we get a lot of time to focus on the characters, which i was a huge fan of even though I do enjoy going through lots of incarnations too.
I always have some issues with this series when it comes to gender politics. We have Jill, a strong female warrior who dresses in man’s clothes, and we have characters like Lovyan, a powerful and complex woman with a lot of social influence. Other times it feels like women are dismissed and the men’s ill treatment of women and calling them “sluts” not only the norm but completely uncriticized to the naked eye. Kerr goes a step further and makes some weird comments about abortion that seem to go between pro-choice and pro-life: Nevyn is upset that a man would deal in something as unsavory as abortions, but also states that (according to the rules of dweomer) a fetus does not contain life until the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. Why does a character like Nevyn, who we are supposed to see as wise, have this somewhat biased view that goes uncriticized? I guess my issue is that because of the third person voice, I don’t always know what message the author is bringing across—whether I’m supposed to think Jill is the only strong female character worth praising and other women are worthless.
Jill/Brangwen came back as a man in the single flashback section of this book—I thought that was incredibly interesting, but also a bit disappointing as the story already has so many men that it would have been nice to see a woman get more spotlight for those hundreds of pages. I think it would be cooler to see Rhodry or Cullyn’s characters in the past as women, or something that more strongly played with gender roles. Nevyn also seemed to think it was a sign from the gods that he wasn’t meant to be with male Brangwen this time around but that seemed like a good time to introduce a homosexual romance between Branoic and any of the male characters also involved in the reincarnations because in previous incarnations Brangwen has affairs with all of them. There’s an incest plot but not a Gay one? I’m not buying it. The story didn’t seem to finish so maybe it will continue but I have a feeling that plot line may be over with the realization that Brangwen came back male.
I also feel like the idea of the Bardek culture is a weird mixture of every single “eastern” stereotype and it sort of makes me uncomfortable that it isn’t as well-developed as the western culture.
I am however very interested in where the plot is going, and the next book promises to center around Jill again. This book was a significant improvement over the last, and while not super original in terms of actual plot, it kept me interested until the end.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Ohio, 1944. Moved to San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and has lived there ever since. Katharine Kerr has read extensively in the fields of classical archeology, and medieval and dark ages history and literature, and these influences are clear in her work. Her epic Deverry series has won widespread praise and millions of fans around the world.
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