miércoles, 2 de marzo de 2016

OTW Challenge: WARRIOR’S WOMAN, by Johanna Lindsey

Another walk through Memory Lane, and the experience was more or less the same as Knight of a Trillion Stars’.
This I read in my kindle

Published: 1990
Genre: Sci-Fi/Space opera
My Rating: 2 stars

Part of a series: Ly-San-Ter Family #1

So this is one of those books that can be considered ‘classics’ in the Romantic Sci-Fi genre. And it’s written by one of the most-beloved authors, Johanna Lindsey.

Let’s go to the plot, as it is explained in Fiction DataBase. First, you’ve got this female fighter, Tedra De Arr. She has dedicated her life to the art of combat, and no one, least of all a man, has ever been able to pierce through that rigid armor of single-minded purpose. Then political upheaval forces the elite bodyguard to flee her home.

Here enters the ‘arms of a bronzed barbarian’ in which she finds refuge, what the blurb calls a ‘majestic male’.

In a society where warriors rule supreme, Challen Ly-San-Ter is the strongest and the most powerful. He claims Tedra as tradition and his own desires demand, but though he ignites her uninitiated passions, the proud fighter will not allow anyone dominance over her. Challenging him to physical battle, she also dares him to discover that she is a worthy partner, and together they can conquer all realms.

At the beginning I was enjoying this book. The worldbuilding is great. And the heroine one of those kick-ass heroines I love so much. She is a kind of Security expert, top Sec 1 in her planet. There’s a coup d'état so she has to go away and try to find a way of recovering the power for her boss.

In her wandering through different Star Systems, she arrives to a very primitive planet full of barbarians. A very male, chauvinistic society with powerful warriors that ‘protect’ women. This is, they are treated like children and are not allowed to be mature adults, independent and free.

There she meets this warrior, a shodan, a chief so to speak. And it is lust at the first sight. They fight and she loses the combat, therefore she has to pay him service –in his bedroom.

Everything was so crazy in this book, so old-skoolish that I was even enjoying it. Pure crazysauce. But then it came a moment in which I just couldn’t stand it. Tedra’s experience in Sha-Ka’an (his planet) was like if you go to Saudi Arabia -oppressive and very diminishing for a woman as a human being.  She could not go wherever she wanted, she couldn’t dress her own clothes, she even was ‘punished’ for the most stupid things ever. And one of those crazy moments, he arouses her desire for hours and does not ‘let her release’! What self-respected lady doesn’t know how to please herself instead of wanting the magic wand of her male warrior to finish the job? 
Jul-1990, Avon

For a kickass heroine, she changed into a perfect doormat quite quickly.

I just couldn’t stand it and read it quickly until the happy ending, meaning the warrior recognizes he’s in love with her. No, thank you, I need something more in a happy ending than a mountain of muscles able to recognize his feelings. Without equality in the relationship it does not work for me.

So it’s your classical barbarian plot of a time ‘when men were warriors, tamed only by very special women’. Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.

I can accept that scenario, but if the woman, somehow, gets to be equal with the man.

Of course, it’s very well written, and as I have said, the world building is great even if you only get a glimpse of it through infodump.

Again, that’s just my personal experience, because lots people keep on loving it. When last summer NPR chose the Top 100 romance novels, this was one of the ones chosen in the Sci-Fi genre. Moreover, is a RT All-Time Favorites. Apart from that when the now defunct The Romance Reader webpage made its list about the best romance novels of the 20th century, this book was ranked # 68.

2 comentarios:

  1. This one is a guilty pleasure--because indeed, women are so 'precious' in this society, that they have no agency. And for all of Tedra's vaunted independence and blah blah, she ends up agreeing to live under very repressive conditions for the rest of her life.

    Personally, I love the contrast between this one and books by, say, J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, written around the same time, where the heroine rescues herself, thank you very much.

    1. Yep, you're right, Eve Dallas is a more acceptable heroine for my tastes.
      I can't enjoy this kind of book anymore. Perhaps twenty years ago would have been different. I don't know. But it's a 'classic' I wouldn't recommend. It's closer to 'The Sheikh' than those contemporary novels you mention.