Monday, 28 October 2013

The Bone Flower Throne by T. L. Morganfield





DNF at 30%

TW: INCEST, RAPE, VICTIM BLAMING

Arc provided by netgalley

Unfortunately this wasn't able to convince me...
The narrator's voice, that starts out as a seven year old, Quetzalpetltl, sounded very inconsistent. One minute she would be very childish, and then completely grown up.

This story strongest point would be its setting: Tenth century aztec culture (of which I'm completely clueless about).
The thing is, this is a very "diluted" aztec environment, with language more appropriate to our days, and a somewhat soap opera tone.
In fact, it seems the author was more focused on the the names used in those times and culture, and a few (gorish) rituals.

The read became boring, since I just couldn't connect with Quetzalpetatl voice.

The political intrigue part... well that's a little too far fetched for this. That would imply some... finesse.
What we get instead are assassinations.
That's not political intrigue.
That's warfare. (prefered methods: hearts ripped out of chests, cut heads, and poisonings!)
So our main character is forced  to marry her cousin when they're both kids. Then her husband's father (and her uncle) decide to kill her father, the king. She and her very pregnant mother (she swallowed a magic rock) escape, but her mother ends up dying giving birth to Little Reed, who will also be known as Topiltzin.


Then all of a sudden, ten years have passed. Q. and Little Reed have both grown up. She's now seventeen, and he's actually ten... but since he's the son of a God, he has the appearance of a seventeen year old.
Whom his sister desires.
That's right, incest alert.
Look, like I said I'm completely clueless about this world. And yes, we all know that morality is subjective to culture. So, if the brothers had to be forced to get married (or not) in the case of that being part of their traditions, that would be more easy to understand. This??  Not really!!
She raised her brother, so it's just double... yuck... maybe if the fantasy/folklore part had been strongly built, maybe it wouldn't feel so... difficult to read.

Her words brought images of him “soothing those desires” with me on the altar in Quetzalcoatl’s temple.

I just think that if the story had an actual political plot, and other characters with relevant roles, maybe this... direction wouldn't be required.

And then I got into the rape scene, and the victim blaming. You can say: this has happened throughout time itself.
Yes, it has. But that doesn't mean I have to read it, especially when it follows a long descriptive segment of "cheap thrills".

Bottom Line: Interesting idea, less than great execution... maybe it gets better, but I just can't force myself to continue reading this.


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