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Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Element of Fire cover

Question Answer

otterb asked Writing question: A number of your books include central relationships where the woman is more powerful or higher status than the man. Moon and Jade, of course, but also Rian and Maskelle, Khat and Elen. Do you set out deliberately to create that reversal of the usual trope, or is that just the way the characters come to you? Thanks.

I think it must be a combination of both. If I set out to deliberately do that reversal, I don't think it would have stuck with me for so long if it wasn't something I also just tend to gravitate to with my characters, if that makes sense. I think I'm just not as interested in writing stories where the female character is dependent on the male character for protection, food, shelter, etc.

Ilias and Tremaine of the Fall of Ile-Rien also fall into that category since he's from a matriarchy and he also comes to see Tremaine as the leader of their group, because she's so often the one who comes up with the plans also exerts so much control, in one way or another, over the others' actions. I think it goes for Thomas and Kade of The Element of Fire also. He's the Captain of the Queen's Guard, but she's the Queen of Air and Darkness. I think Nicholas and Madeline are probably the most equal couple. He's a master criminal, but she's a well-known actress and can go and get another role whenever she wants; she's not dependent on him. Also, she had about 90% of the emotional control in that relationship.

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I didn't think about Thomas and Kade. I thought about Thomas and Ravenna, who had a complex relationship I enjoyed.

The thing I enjoy about these is that none of the men are in the least subservient or feel a need to prove themselves. Well, Moon does, but that's different.

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