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Olivia Waite is a romance author, practicing feminist, and wide-ranging dilettante.

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin Would have been four stars for all the agendas running athwart one another, but many of the female characters are of that sort where the jaded feminist eye can tell the hand that drafted them belonged to a dude. There is indeed, as promised, a great deal of rape -- I expected that -- but what I did not expect was that nearly all of it happens second-hand, to characters unnamed or barely mentioned, whose perspectives are never deeply considered. It's clearly there to add 'grit' and 'edginess,' but I feel the same way about cooks who add tons of pepper to a dish trying to make it memorable: too much of one spice does not guarantee a satisfying, complex flavor.

Still, I'm excited to read the next one, because dragons.