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Creatures of Grace Paperback – June 17, 2013
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"Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
For those fed up with the rigid stereotypes and gender roles common in the fantasy genre, Creatures of Grace is a clever, inventive, and thought-provoking collection of short stories...Enos takes the medieval fairy-tale world in new directions.
Among the expected tales of royalty, knights, servants, and romance exists a world where same-gender attraction is taboo, yet characters act on their feelings anyway, and one's husband can in fact be a woman who binds her breasts and takes a masculine name." - Foreword Clarion Reviews
"The characters maintain their independence, even when pairing off with others (usually men)." - Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
P. Kristen Enos has a diverse background in writing, starting with lesbian and AIDS activism in the early 90's.
In 1994, she began a column called "Active Voice" in the LGBT Blade California Magazine. The column focused on her real-life adventures as an out lesbian activist in ultra-conservative Orange County, California. After a period of burn-out, she returned to writing the column in 2011 in the magazine, where it still appears at the time of this write-up.
Otherwise, she spends her time doing a full time corporate job that pays her bills and volunteer work that doesn't, which includes being a professional event photographer. She also wrote an epic & canon fanfiction series "Bubblegum Crisis Post 2040" based on the Japanese anime series Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040.
For about five years, she created and managed the website "This Lesbian's Guide to Anime and Manga". She now expanded her reviews to western material as time allows, which unfortunately is the constant challenge.
Though a self-professed Southern California girl in her heart and soul, she moved to Las Vegas in 2011, where she stays when she's not out having adventures and causing trouble.
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Top customer reviews
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The protagonist of each story was a woman, some strong as steel, some with endearing weaknesses. Each woman showed that it takes all types to be a true heroin in a story. I was pleasantly surprised that in such a short set of stories, the author does a great job of character development, giving us insight into the emotions and the flaws of the women she is portraying. I was expecting a series of short stories that were not inter-related, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the reappearance of characters throughout the book. Knowing the past of these women added depth to each story that they made an appearance again in a seemingly completely different story. The reader can see how they have developed throughout the series and how lives can intertwine.
While I have read numerous stories with LGTB characters, this is the one of the first books that I have read that makes these issues a central theme. I respect the use of literature to raise awareness and understanding of these themes and I believe that this book would have benefit for anyone that reads it. However, as I sometimes find with romance writers, the sexual orientation of the characters was such a central theme that at times I think it took away from the story development. I would have appreciated seeing more of the other aspects of these women’s lives.
Overall, I found the themes to be intricate and interesting, while the fantasy aspect of the stories took me away to another magical world. Weaving issues of the real world into this magical fictional world worked well for the author, and Enos did a great job in doing so. The writing style, unlike the topics, was not too complex and made the book easy to read. I would read further works by this author.