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Episode 47 - Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Happy lunar new year!  We rang in the Year of the Ox with Butterfly Swords , which was Jeannie Lin's first book.  It won the Golden Heart Award back in 2009 and started her illustrious career. Ai Li is to be married to the powerful and hawt Li Tao, a scheming jiedushi.  When she discovers his treachery and his murder of her brother she escapes to warn her father, the Tang Emperor.  Except her father isn't really all that fussed about it?  She's helped along the way by Ryam, Noted White Guy.  They travel all around China meeting people and running away from people and hitting people with swords, which is delightful. There's really no content to be concerned about in this book (it's a more recent book!) - if you dig action packed historical romances there won't be anything in here that's an unpleasant surprise.

Episode 10 - "Silver Angel"



Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey is evidently a book about a troll doll with boobs.  There are, let's see.  Twins.  Harems.  Corsairs.  A public fight about pubic waxing.  Assassins.  Eunuchs.  Poisonings.  A vizier.

As usual, you're definitely going to want to get a vintage copy with an older cover.  What is it with these publishers reissuing these with the worst covers?

Before you listen to this episode you should know.... this is... the CURSED.  EPISODE.  of DOOM.

First, we found out the hard way that our recorder doesn't warn us when the battery runs out.  So we rerecorded the last part of the podcast.

Then, we found out that somehow we LOST the first half.  So weeks later, we tried to remember this shit and rerecorded THAT.  Which meant we had to revisit this book.  Ugh.

Also, it seems I just can't help telling and retelling my story about getting naked in the pool at Caesar's Palace, because you're gonna hear that one again in Imzadi.  Sorry 'bout that.

The trigger warnings on this are... complicated.  There is no sexual assault actually happening in this book, surprisingly.  (I did forget - there is one of those gross virginity test scenes.)  But there is a lot of talk about it, a lot of it has happened in other places, there are a lot of threats, and it's just a general atmosphere of sexual fear.  There's also... lord I don't know how to describe it, there's some... it's kink shaming and a deeply disturbing failure to understand the psychology of sexual violence and it's all very weird and upsetting.

Also, it is racist as shit.  Obviously.  Maybe there's a captivity book about a harem that isn't racist as shit but I'm having a hard time imagining it.



Our musical guest today is Lisa LeBlanc, singing "You Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too)" from her album Highways Heartaches and Time Well Wasted.  You can find her in all the usual places - Spotify, Amazon, etc. - as well as at her website and on Facebook.

This book is set in a fictional country (Barikeh) that's... somewhere in the Ottoman Empire, probably in North Africa, so I can't give real actual information about it.  However, there's plenty of cool fascinating stuff about the Ottoman Empire itself, like... did you know if you were the grand vizier and the sultan sentenced you to death, you could race the gardener-executioner and if you won, you got away!  Seriously, read all about it at the Smithsonian.




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