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Tiger Eye

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tiger Eye (2005) Marjorie Liu

Dela Reese creates weapons–beautiful knives and swords–as well as other art, with her gift of metal working. While browsing a market in Beijing, a woman sells her a puzzle box–and almost immediately someone threatens her.

Two thousand years ago Hari was made into a slave by the Magi–mostly used over the years as an indestructible fighter, but always forced to do the bidding of the master who unlocked the puzzle box.

“Spoken language was part of the spell, so I might always understand my masters, no matter their tongue. Very few people read, so it was not a concern.”

This was the first novel Marjorie Liu wrote, so that makes it a little easier to be forgiving of some of the issues I found upon a second read. Such as the ease at which Hari becomes accustomed to modern life. Yes, he was used to changes over the 2000 years he’d been enslaved, but it’s last 200-300 years that changed things drastically, and Hari might have been accepting of magic, but modern technology would have been a magic beyond his wildest imaginings of what magic might do. Especially since there was seemingly very little magic the last couple times he would have been in the world.

The second thing was an encounter with the older woman who runs the club they visit.

Rose sighed, looking at his hair, his eyes, her gaze slowly inching over the rest of his fine long lines. “If I were only two hips younger,” she mused, laughing when she saw Hari’s confusion. She slapped his arm, still chortling, and gestured for them all to follow her. Artur and Dean held out their arms, and Rose, still beaming, slipped her hands into the back pockets of their jeans, squeezing. The men jumped, biting back gasps.

“Off we go!” she giggled, fondling their backsides.

I get that she’s supposed to be turning tropes on their heads, as a fun-loving older lecherous old woman, but it bothers me anyway–especially since Artur is clearly written as someone who does not like to be touched. Yes, it’s a skin-to-skin thing, but I don’t see him being quite so blase about it.

The third thing is this passage:

“Hari,” Dela said, hesitating. “I want you to know … the Magi … he never … he never touched me. Not like that.”

Hari briefly closed his eyes, brushing her cheeks with his fingertips.

In case it isn’t obvious, she’s telling him she hadn’t been raped. The way it’s phrased makes it feel as if she’s reassuring him that she’s unsullied, which… bothers me.

Not that it’s a bad story, but I think I’m glad this wasn’t the first book of hers I read, and that this wasn’t the first Dirk & Steel story I read. Possibly because her writing strengthened over the series, partially because I had issues with the way Hari easily adapts to the modern world, and partially because these aren’t my two favorite characters in the series.
Rating: 6/10

Publisher: HarperCollins

Categories: Fantasy, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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