Last week, I finished reading The Black Magician's Trilogy by Trudi Canavan. Although I really liked the serie (a 9 on a scale of 10), I'm a bit troubled by a trend I see often with female writers. You'd expect that women would like it more when the romance within a story is honest and straight forward. Well, that's how I like romance in a story. Very old-fashioned, probably, but I still believe in the whole one-love-for-life idea. Honesty towards oneself and specifically towards the other person in a relation I keep in high regard.
During the whole story, I can sympathise quite well with Sonea, the protagonist of the story. But near the end, when she chooses for another lover than the guy who she kind of started a relationship with. And not by telling him, but by simply making the decision. When her former lover finds her in the arms of her new lover, he's obviously a bit upset about it. But how does she react?
"[Sonea] thought back to the days she had spent with [Dorrien] in the Guild. It seemed a long time ago. Had he hoped he would regain her interest one day? Though she had made no promises, she felt a pang of guilt. Her heart was Akkarin's. She had never felt this strongly about Dorrien."
I mean, WTF? That's just mean. And they say it's usually the guys who break a girl's heart. Well, I'm not buying that anymore. When it comes to love and feelings, it's usually the girl who reacts in the most unthoughtful manner. Who ever said you should spare a woman's heart clearly was very, very confused.
The thing that gripes me the most about this, is that I've seen this so often before. The girl "follows her heart" and in the process, she really, really hurts someone else. I don't know how it was in "the old days", but lately, I've seen this more and more often. It bothers me. I've been treated myself that way often and the sting actually comes back in full force when I read something here. The way she so casually brushes over his feelings.
I've noted it more often in stories written by women than in stories written by men, I think. And by the way the hurted guy acts in the rest of the story, Trudi really expected him to be over it without too much trouble. Which for me busts a feeling of plausability within the story.
As I said, I liked the trilogy overall, but I'm not that appreciative about the turning around in the romance. Makes me feel bad. (But, considering how an author usually wants to touch you, good or bad, this could be what the writer intended.)