sara douglass

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Rape of the Heroine: examining rape as a tool in Sara Douglass' fantasy novels

SPOILER ALERT: This post will examine parallels in Sara Douglass' various fantasy series, including The Wayfarer Redemption, The Troy Game, and DarkGlass Mountain. Though I do not give a plot summary of any of them, I discuss events in the novels that can be considered spoilers. I will try to maintain "the author is dead" examination since I know nothing of Douglass' personal convictions; thus I will only discuss the "facts" as presented in the novels--any topics I challenge or take issue with will not reflect an opinion on the author.

I've been a fan of Douglass' work for some time now, having read all six books of Wayfarer, the first three of Troy, and two of DarkGlass (note that the third has not been released yet).

What all of these series have in common is rape and violence against women. It makes me uncomfortable each time I pick up a novel because each one in the series involves rape and violence. Granted, the novels describe epic battles, and fantastic wars against such enemies as demons, wraiths, and even beings with no real "life," as in the pyramid in DarkGlass, or the labyrinth in Troy. These enemies commit horrific atrocities against the characters (of course, because they're enemies), but we also have characters on the same side hurting one another.

Think of how Axis beat Azhure when he thought she might betray him, nearly killing her. Think how Axis used Faraday for his own gains, which ultimately cost her her life.

Think of how Brutus raped Cornelia, an act that made her his wife.

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