Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked....
I go naked.
Huntress - such a powerful title!
The word solely weighs so much meaning in itself. Expressing strength, bravery on one side, brutality and blood-thirst on the other and among everything else it pinpoints on femininity.
Its a title only a woman can wear!
This word sets the theme for the whole series representing conflicted extremes. Its the most brutal and at the same time the most tender story, each one more emphasized because of the existence of the other.
It's a story about a girl that learns no matter where you come from the only way to make the world a better place is to fight for it and change it yourself!
Even as the front theme is the fighting, the war, the Freaks, the background theme is more about gender roles, about woman's place in society, repression and capability.
This book is all about girl power!
It raises questions and it answers them honestly and truly, the way that they can be applied on today's society, giving them roots making them real and possible. Without diminishing either gender.
There is a discussion on Maggie Stiefvater's blog, about strong women in literature and their lack of it. Explaining that the easiest place to set a fierce girl character without a gender role boundaries is to put her in a fantasy world. The setting there can be so different from today's society that her existence would be easiest.
And while i see the wrongness of it (that you have to reinvent society so you can place a strong woman role-model) i think we have to start from somewhere. We have to give example somehow that "Yes! Here people, it is possible!"
And Ann Aguirre does just that.
Her MC fights for her right to love and than fight for her right to fight, she is met on every corner with skepticism and disbelief, mockery and laughter. There is a battle even within herself battling balance between the huntress and the girl . Every step she takes to be accepted is paved with blood and sweat. She stumbles, she makes mistakes, her hope wavers and she never gives up.
Even the love story is intertwined with pushing and puling of dominance. Concluding that she doesn't have to be vulnerable to be gentle. And she doesn't have to be protected but be protector herself.
Deuce is a PERFECT role-model.
(Also Deuce and Fade fighting side by side - i don't thing there is a love scene in a book that can be compared to that. They fight back to back, leaving - literally - their life in each-other hands. Its the equivalent of truly trusting someone. It doesn't get more devoted that that.)
I love the character. Its not because i liked him and Deuce together. On the opposite. In my had he is the male counterpart of Deuce. He descents from a brutal society, where survival is everything, making him brutal alongside it. Then he encounters other people, learning the meaning of good and bad, proper and vulgar. He keeps what is useful from the former and takes whats proper from the later. All this is making him a very complex character, capable for good as much as evil.
There is so much to be said about this book: the detailed world building, the complexity of the story, the love for the characters and their 3Dmensionality, the tender yet passion love story... Its a satisfying conclusion to an amazing series. From the moment the battle begins until the end of the book, its such a devastating read, i find my self crying the whole time. It was a proper goodbye to a characters i didn't want to say goodbye to.
Its an engrossing story and is amazingly written.
I salute you Ann Aguirre. Will read anything you have to write next!