CREATURES OF GRACE by P. Kristen Enos

CREATURES OF GRACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In her six short stories, Enos combines historical fiction and fantasy with LGBT issues.

Enos, a feminist and LGBT author (Deseo, 2009), writes six related stories that take place within the same Middle Earth world, which is described as a fantastical medieval period. Each female protagonist has a different background. There’s a young girl in love with her best friend, the princess; a pregnant woman who’s married to a tournament champion; a farmer’s wife who aids several LGBT pirates on the run; a woman who reanimates three days after she dies; a countess who wants to be seduced by her slave; and finally a young girl working at her family’s inn. The characters maintain their independence, even when pairing off with others (usually men). For example, while Petra is recruited to be a Holy Knight (someone who searches for those who have the ability to resurrect themselves) by Ramon, she questions her role and makes her own decisions. In another story, which is about Franchesca, the wife of tournament champion Sir Drake, women again take center stage. After finding out that his wife has been hiding a secret from him, Sir Drake nearly beats Franchesca to death. Instead of returning to her abusive husband, she and her friends feign her death and escape. Despite the inclusion of strong female characters, many of Enos’ characters aren’t multifaceted. Men are violent, sometimes beating their wives to near death, whereas many of the women can be overtly sexual and not much more, leading the stories to feel dated, regardless of their LGBT themes.

A well-intentioned fictional exploration of LGBT and feminist issues weakened by one-dimensional characters.

Pub Date: June 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1484933572
Page count: 174pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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