Iron Widow
2021 • 394 pages


Average rating3.9


Well, it was better than I thought it would be. As my book club has started talking more about the four doorways of reading (Character, Plot, Setting, Writing), I'm coming to realize more and more that without that Writing doorway, I just have a hard time getting into a book.

This book is extremely cinematic in a way that if it was an anime or graphic novel where I could actually see the Chrysalises and watch the battle scenes, I'd probably be pretty into it. The ruthless female anti-hero is a trope that I'm glad is gaining more traction. In the romance aspects of the book,<spoiler>the pro-poly anti-love triangle take is a great way to turn YA fiction on its head even if the Shimin/Yizhi romance didn't really get enough attention to feel at all believable.</spoiler>

So plot and character-wise, it's pretty good. The world-building is all right too. I think it's just the language including occasional modern phrases that feel so anachronistic to the setting that grated on me. The ending also was pretty abrupt and included so much new information that felt rushed to me. So I don't know. I think it's a good book that just wasn't really for me. It is a shame that it was disqualified in the Hugo debacle this year because as literature aimed at a young adult audience, I think it is making some very important moves and deserved that recognition.

March 3, 2024Report this review