Oct. 14th, 2016

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Mercedes Lackey's Closer to the Chest, the third volume in the Valdemar-set Herald Spy series, is somewhat unusual for Lackey, as it quite openly addresses a serious modern issue - misogyny, expressed through harassment and violence.

A new religion with a highly patriarchal, misogynistic set of teaching arrives in Valdemar, where the long-held policy of religious tolerance offers no resistance to them, despite the distaste felt by many toward their anti-woman rhetoric.



Not long afterwards, Mags, spymaster in training, begins to notice more and more disaffected, working class men spouting misogynist diatribes. Two women-only religious orders are vandalised, as are a series of small, women-owned businesses. And around the Court and Collegium, women are receiving poisonous and threatening letters.

It's a complex investigation that draws on the talents of Mags, Amily, their Companions, and the entire network of observers and agents that are a part of the Crown's intelligence service.

I enjoyed this, as I enjoy most of Lackey's work; the pointed social commentary added to the pleasure.

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