Book Challenge, February 2016: Exquisite Joy and Despair.

February was a great month for my reading goals, not just because of the number of books I managed to get through, but also thanks to the absurdly high quality of the books. What I appreciate most in story-telling is beautifully fleshed out characters, and this month’s selection offered an abundance of them without skimping on world-building and plot. They are all very different, yet bizarrely similar in the way they focus on duty, agency, personal choice in the face of tradition and systematic oppression, all with a big ol’ helping of political intrigue. All seven handle the less then pleasant subjects of slavery, rape, and child abuse, though oddly enough it’s the book about the prince forced into becoming a pleasure slave that is the least harrowing to read.

This past month I’ve read:

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