But She Raped A Priest: Thoughts on Empress of Mijak
If you’ve ventured onto the Goodreads page for Karen Miller’s Empress of Mijak (if not you can find it here) you’ll see the ratings swing to both extremes without much in the middle. People either loved it or rated it unreadable.
There were parts of the book I really enjoyed. The cultural aspects are so different and bold compared to usual high fantasy fare, the magic system was well thought-out and expertly manipulated. The part of the book I really didn’t enjoy, and seems to be the sticking point with most of the critics, is the protagonist, Hekat. It seems not even people who loved the book like Hekat. For me she was a serious impediment to getting involved in the story, and this itself was an annoyance as I quite enjoyed the story and would have liked to be more involved.
On behalf of everyone who doesn’t fancy Hekat, I drew a picture of her about to rape some priests (which she does several times over the course of the book, and religious or not I think we can all agree that rape is a no-no):
This picture, for me, pretty much sums up the book. I generally liked it and would rate it above average for a high fantasy novel. But there was an awful lot of unnecessary blood – if you’ve heard this week’s podcast then the quote I used for Empress of Mijak was one that made me laugh aloud at how fatuous the level of blood sacrifice had become – and Hekat is never once truly reprimanded for her actions.
You know what? That makes a lot of sense. Hekat’s villainy is a constant wear on our need for justice to be served. It never is, and that’s what causes the backlash against the story. Hmmmm.
Just stop raping, Hekat. Please stop raping.