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Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan Novels)

Shadow Heir - Richelle Mead Warning: despite my (what I consider) neutral rating for [b:Shadow Heir|11506205|Shadow Heir (Dark Swan, #4)|Richelle Mead|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1318458874s/11506205.jpg|15509965], this will be a rant-filled review that will discuss all the books in the series. I've had many issues with this series, mostly in terms of all the mentions of rape which include rape attempts both current and past as well as successful rapes both current and past. This really bothered me, and even made me focus more on the issues with the consensual sex in this series. Eugenie enjoys kinky sex and being submissive, which is fine and I have no problems with and I probably wouldn't have even focused on if not for the aforementioned issues with rape. When she was having sex with Dorian, there were two times that stood out to me. The first was the first time they had sex. Dorian said repeatedly that he would only have sex with her if she wanted it because he has no interest in sleeping with someone who wasn't interested. He also makes a deal with her, she can either sleep with him and he will help her rescue Jasmine immediately, or she can train with him until her magic abilities are improved and she can go and rescue Jasmine herself. At one point, Eugenie tells him to tie her up and order him around so that she has no control in the situation and has to sleep with him. In another book in the series, Dorian says in two separate occasions that will she give him a blowjob or will he have to make her? With Kiyo, there was a time where a bunch of people are downstairs and waiting for her, and Eugenie says that she has to go down and meet them and there is no time for sex. Kiyo insists and manages to have sex with her anyway. All of these situations are ultimately consensual as Eugenie goes along with them, but with all the mentions of rape in the book already making me uncomfortable (I HATE rape as a plot-device) these disturbed me further. I also really disliked how this series did the love-triangle. One guy would do something to piss Eugenie off and she would immediately jump into the bed of the other. I don't have a problem with a heroine sleeping with different people but in this case it was, "Make up your mind and stop playing with both of them!" and the ending is especially hilarious considering her trust issues with both of them throughout the book. Yet somehow it's OK for her to hide from Dorian that he's the father of her babies because she wants to protect them and thinks that being raised by strangers who are unable to protect them if something happens is better than being raised by their mother and father in a kingdom with a bunch of guards to protect them. Plus they probably have magical abilities which will manifest at some point. It's hard to appreciate her ending up with Dorian when she's being a hypocrite and I know this will cause a lot of issues between them if it were to come to light. Eugenie, what is worse, being lied to about his purposes behind a magical crown that you were going to use anyway even though you had been told multiple times that he had ulterior motives, or being deceived about the children you've always wanted to have? But I don't have high opinions of Eugenie's intelligence. When she's in hiding and supposed to be protecting herself and her babies and was told not to use ANY fairy or shamanic magic that could draw attention to herself, she does it anyway. She is absolutely convinced that the father has to be Kiyo and can't be Dorian's at all despite the fact that she slept with both of them within days of each other and while she might have been angry with Dorian, at the time she said there was no way to him was when she was under his protection and far angrier at Kiyo. Yet she is so surprised when Kiyo says that he knew it couldn't have been his due to his vasectomy and lied to her because he thought that if she thought it was his she would be more likely to abort the fetuses. Gentry can have kids with humans, Eugenie's existence is proof of that! I probably enjoyed this book the most because there is only ONE sex scene in it which was entirely consensual, very little mentions of rape, and was the end of her flip-flopping around. When she made her choice, I actually said, "FINALLY!" Everyone gave Kiyo a well-deserved hard time the entire book. However, the ending really did not seem like a series ending.