How had I never noticed how few females there are in epic fantasy?

I stumble across Amazon and tally up the number of male and female characters in the blurbs of fantasy novels. The results are less than encouraging.

If you hang out in the writing meadows of Twitter for long enough, you’re bound to run across outrage about the scant and pathetic roles of women in epic fantasy.

Before you start screaming, yes, there are some great female characters in fantasy books. But I’m confident to say (before endeavouring to count) that they’re in the minority.

And not by just a few percentage points.

Given than in real life there’s a very close balance between men and women, it hardly seems fair that men dominate the exciting worlds of sorcerers and dragons.

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Why I don’t write book reviews

Instead of writing book reviews in which I analyse books and lay out the reasons you might like or hate them, I write not-reviews… which don’t. But they are more fun.

You might have noticed I don’t write book reviews, though recently I have been writing a fair few not-reviews in which Sebastian and Rain rant or rave about something I’ve been reading.

I know I’ve talked about why I don’t want to recommend books. Today I’m going to (try and figure out and then) explain my logic for writing not-reviews.

I probably have a number of good reasons. Let’s see if we can work out what they are.

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An impassioned rant about Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

This is not a review of Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It is an impassioned rant about it. Is it a good rant or a bad rant? I’ll let you decide.

Rain: This is my rant about Leaving Time, and the first thing I want to say is what an uninspiring title for a beatiful book. “Leaving Time”. Two words that are entirely unemotive and suggest nothing about what the book’s about. Okay, sure, you see where the phrase comes from and it does mean something to the characters at a time, but this aspect is so lightly developed that it really doesn’t do it for me. And to someone who hasn’t read the book the words mean nothing. Ugh! I almost didn’t read it because of the title.

Sebastian: Ah, but you did read it.

Rain: Well, yea. Because elephants. The elephants were glorious and beautiful and touching and I want to meet them all now! The book should have been called something about elephants. “The Grief of Elephants” seems appropriate and captures the feeling of the book so much better than “Leaving Time”.

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Not a review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My writer half and my reader half discuss Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and even agree on a few things about it. I’ve tried to avoid major spoilers, but if you don’t want to know anything about the book then don’t read this post until after you’ve read it.

Sebastian, Rain and I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and now we’re not going to write a review about it. But we are going to talk about it.

Gone Girl got on my list of mega-popular books to read because of its 44,974 Amazon reviews (and counting).

However, it’s somewhat interesting that it only has four stars. Even the lamest of self-published books usually manages an average of four stars, so I have to assume a lot of people hate this book.

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Creative resolutions to your standard love triangle

Tired of one girl being torn between two young men in your typical YA love triangle? The love triangle might not be going anywhere, but it can certainly be resolved more creatively. Here are some suggestions.

A popular YA trope that is commonly voted “trope that most needs to die” is the love triangle.

The standard love triangle involves a young woman choosing between two young men, both of whom are yummy and interested in her, and both of whom she gets warm squishies over.

Yes, the typical love triangle is all about female indecisiveness.

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