The Windup Girl

I don’t normally review books that I haven’t finished, and I rarely review books that I didn’t like. I reckon people don’t need to hear about books they shouldn’t read; recommendations are much more fun. But I have to make an exception for Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. I almost never stop reading a book once I’ve started. […]

The Misogyny of Tyrion Lannister

Pretty much everyone loves Tyrion Lannister, at least at first. In a series full of ruthless trope subversions, Tyrion-as-hero (or at least as sympathetic underdog) is a plot that’s easy to get behind. He’s highly intelligent and well-read, he speaks bluntly about how things “really are,” he’s constantly making sarcastic comments, and, unlike most powerful […]

Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons

I am the blood of dragons. If they are monsters, so am I. Daenerys Targaryen’s story is one of the difficult lines between selfishness and selflessness, liberation and enslavement, kindness and cruelty. She is the “mother of dragons” and the “daughter of death”: feminine, caring and protective, but also destructive, willing to burn the world to […]

Arya Stark: To Bend or to Break?

Arya Stark is one of the most popular characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. She’s certainly one of my favorites. Brave, quick-witted, fierce and determined, Arya survives in a world that kills many older and more experienced players using courage, adaptability, intelligence, and, of course, a whole lot of luck. But she’s also, […]

A Song of Ice and Fire: misogynistic or feminist?

Every now and again, new articles appear criticizing George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire for being misogynistic. Sometimes, these articles raise valid, thought-provoking points. More often, however, they criticize the series because its women are often powerless, because they are often abused, and because the world they live in does not value them […]