Under Her Protection: A Short Review

Turtleduck Press has brought out a new book, called "Under Her Protection", an anthology of stories of women to the rescue.

The stories are:

Guardian, by KD Sarge.
Reaper Girl, by Erin Zarro.
The Raja and the Madman, by Siri Paulson.
Drifting, by Kit Campbell.

I'm lucky and get to review it. Beware of minor spoilers—I'm not going to do a hugely in depth review of each story; I had intended to but a little thing called depression reared its head and I just… *sigh* Maybe one day I won't let people down.

.:.:.

Guardian is well worth the read just for the ending.

As to characters, Jhi Bo Xian is a very cool character; I like her confidence and attitude. Srivasi is well developed, though he seems a little like a character to whom things happen, rather than someone who goes out and does things.

I personally don't think that's a bad thing in this context. These stories aren't overly long and my understanding of this anthology is that the women doing the rescuing are important, so if Srivasi is passive in this slice of his life, so what? All the bloody princesses kidnapped by dragons are even more passive than Srivasi is.

.:.:.

Reaper Girl is very much a romance first, and that works really well for it. Leliel and Rick are thrown together by fate—or a highway accident, if you prefer—and the story follows through the consequences of said highway accident.

I've talked about the monkey wrench before, and Reaper Girl is good at upping the stakes in that fashion, without making it seem like a let down by immediately resolving all problems in their favour.

Being a romance, the ending is perhaps obvious, but it is no less exciting for that.

.:.:.

The Raja and the Madman takes a lovely spin on teacher and student. From the food that is served, I suspect the story is set in India, and it appears to be set in a time where education for girls was not a high priority, or even a consideration. A girl takes a job of serving a madman, and in his working environment the desire to learn is cultivated.

Not unsurprising, and I am quite pleased that the madman does not mock her; instead he seeks to educate her with what he knows and has learned.

It is only fitting the ending then uses what she has been taught.

.:.:.

Drifting kind of really speaks to me with Maddie having nothing to do and no direction in the beginning. It might not be an instant pull for everyone, but Kit is quick to set up the hook for the story—the appearance of a letter asking for help.

There wouldn't be much of a story if Maddie didn't help (although now I kind of want to read or write one where someone has something to do, and doesn't do it), but that obviously being the case is not a bad mark against Kit—there are only so many paths that can be gone down, even if the ways to go down them are infinite in nature.

And what romance would be found in not helping?

I do like that the ending is one that isn't immediately obvious.

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