This one was the typical Psy-Qualia finisher battle. Typical shounen faire where guys can't like each other unless they are fighting each other. Such violent beasts.
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This book would be so much better without the casual misogyny just tossed into the middle of it. It really also wants to be feminist, but it's this weak kind of feminism that thinks everything is already equal.
At least the MC at the moment seems to be doing things and not just following Collum along.
We have the whole Collum is the nasty alpha that the MC always seems to be weak around, countered with the enemy with the black hair and the cool eyes. Who actually seems to be a decent guy over all. He play it up like he's going to hurt Hope to get a guard to leave then he's Mr. Nice but "You have to save yourself."
Hope's mom is being raped and tortured via Babcock by Celia who is "The woman scorned".
Oh there's a Jewish girl... I think she's there to add "D I V E R S I T Y" and make Hope a "Christian white savior"
Also Phoebe cheats on Doug, because she's always had a fantasy. I guess it's good the book hasn't stooped to calling her a slutwhorejezebel yet. Maybe it's got a bit of decency to it.
Also there's an evil priest Thomas Becket of Canterbury. The book is almost saying "This is the TRUE misogyny here! Pay no attention to the way I slut shamed the cheerleaders and all that nonsense!"
Still no gays,bis, or lesbians
So we have Rachel who is Jewish so the Author is tossing in some anti-semitism for flavor now too. And I bet she has the Nonius Stone from the description.
She's probably going to end up with the "boy next door" Christian soldier Captain guy.
Also if Rachel WAS delivering medicine for the queen SHE'D HAVE A FUCKING ESCORT! and not get sexually assaulted in an alley.
GREAT! In comes the whole rape threats because medieval times...
I mean I kinda got the whiff that this "didn't do the research" but now I really know this book didn't do the research and is trying to be like GoT or even that Outlander series or whatever. (I hear that one's pretty bad too.)
I guess she's not going to put in a ton of rape or too much of it because YA? Or is this the point we laugh.