The Axe and the Throne - good book that triggers feminists on Goodreads

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Noob, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    I enjoyed this book and found it easy to read, and I struggle with complex plots and multiple points of view usually.

    I give it a 4/5, and liked how there were not small hot female warriors killing armed men with ease by the tens, which seems to be a staple of new age writing and television, whether it's to pander to the critics or to avoid criticism, I have no idea.

    The fact that this doesn't occur in the book has triggered the women of Goodreads something chronic. I'm sure there's even multiple 1 star ratings from alt accounts.

    Good book, good laughs checking out the cranky reviews too.
  2. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I enjoyed this book too. In some ways I find it similar to Joe Abercrombie's stuff. This book has less detail but it also doesn't really reveal where the plot is going either. It's just a story that focuses on the characters with no real end game you can view until you get closer to the end.

    At the same time, I do understand the feminist point of view. Conquering people (not all but some) in this book use rape as a reward. There are some dark things in this book and it will not be for everyone. It didn't stop me from enjoying the book but in retrospect I wonder if I'm desensitized to some of this stuff. Historically though this kind of thing did happen at times. Men actually raped women and men they conquered in the past. Ugly, dark history.

    I had posted my personal review here awhile ago:
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  3. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Penalising authors for basing their cultures on analogous, real-world ones is something I think I'll never get my head around. The contents of the book are fiction and should always be treated as such.
  4. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    It depends - I assume to the female readers who objected it felt like the rape was there for affect not to forward the plot.

    Writers are not stupid. If they write something dark and controversial, they need to take the reviews that come from that in their stride :)
  5. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    The only time I have a problem with rape in books is when it is written in a gratuitous way and the author's voice is much stronger than the voice of characters. Example Gor novels by John Norman. Thankfully there aren't many books like that in fantasy.
    Violence in general doesn't even have to further the plot in my opinion. It can be used for world-building, for character development etc. Authors should be aware of the effects violence has on people so they don't make mistakes.
    I'll never forgive Peter V. Brett for what he did to Leesha.
    Not that she got raped, it's a horrible world so rape is a common occurrence, but her coping with it later. He thinks women coping with rape trauma, who were virgins btw before the rape, suddenly turn into sluts that are seducing their main enemy, a conqueror, who's own men are raping and murdering her people as she is fucking him. Get the fuck out.
    I swear nobody butchers his female characters quite like Peter V. Brett. All you aspiring authors should read him like a manual on what not to do.
    If it wasn't for this, his series would probably be one of my favs.
  6. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Yeah, that never sat right with me, either.

    On the one hand, I get irritated when characters who are raped end up also getting murdered or killing themselves in shame, and that didn't happen with Leesha. (Not that this doesn't happen in real life. But in fiction, I always felt like it sent a message that the characters were no longer of value to society because of something that was out of their control and they didn't want in the first place.) But Leesha's reaction doesn't seem right, either, at least not based on the handful of rape victims I have met in real life who were OK with discussing it (usually in the context of high school or college English classes).
  7. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Yay! I did the Amazon search for this book, and in the "customers also bought..." is none other than Steel, Blood & Fire right up there next to the big bestsellers.
  8. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Rape is a very, very small part of this book and it's not glamorized or depicted graphically for those that haven't read it. It is simply considered something this one barbaric tribe does after a victory in battle. It did happen in at least one battle scene; I can't remember that much about the stuff to be honest.

    I did read the first book of Mark Lawrence's trilogy, Prince of Thieves I believe, that had a rape in it. I think you would have very similar feelings about that scenario as you would this book.

    That might be good news for Alan but I don't think Steel, Blood & Fire is similar to The Axe and the Throne. I would not use these as good comparables. I think The Blade Itself is a good comparsion.
  9. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    Some things that bothered me from the goodreads page:
    1) The author provides a haughty warning that his writing isn't for everyone, that anyone easily offended shouldn't be upset when they are, indeed, offended. Even some of the 4 and 5 star reviews noted how weird and off-putting this was.
    2) Quoted passages suggest a protagonist called his gang-raped/murdered wife a slut when he found her body, for not fighting back harder. That's a pretty reasonable thing for a reader to be upset about, IMO. If you clumsily handle rape/murder in your story, the criticism you receive is your own damn fault. Yet there's a lot of bitter arguments about SJWs over-reacting, similar to the thread opener here:
    This has all the signs of Gamergate alt-right bullshit.

    Maybe I'll read it if it keeps racking up Abercrombie comparisons. But I doubt it. Btw, this is one of those books that is advertised in between entries on the "top lists" of the main BFB site, and those always piss me off.
  10. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    From experience, it can happen - one ex who had gone through it became a bit of a nymphomaniac, and she used libido to conquer what she'd been through. I did feel that DS handled it in a bit of a ham-handed way though.

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