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I was getting frustrated by men whining about feminism so a friend recommended this book to me.

The Fifth Sacred Thing is a fantasy story where the magic is neo-pagan magic. It was written in the early 1990s, but it feels like it could have been written yesterday in some ways. In the neo-pagan community at the beginning of the book, the communication is done both in spoken word and sign language. The community believes that earth, air, water, and fire are the four sacred things that no one can own. The people in the community are various ages and races.

There were a lot of sexual relationships of various configurations going on throughout the whole book, and I thought that touching was a little over-sexualized because it felt like most characters of the same age who were touching each other were about to get it on.

Their enemies take ownership of water and create a dystopia based on water-scarcity.

The sadism of these bad guys involved a little too much rape, and I hope that literature is moving in a direction where characters can be harmed and face adversity without that harm and adversity always being rape.

One of the highlights of this book for me was that I usually panic when I see a lot of foreign language phrases in a book. I feel like authors try to show the readesr that their liberal arts education has breadth by doing this. I also feel like they create distance between themselves and readers who do not know the languages that they are using. This book used a number of Spanish phrases, and I knew what most of them meant thanks to Duolingo. The use of Spanish also made sense within the context of the story. Languages that were not English were forbidden in the dystopia created by the enemy. However, Madrone, one of the main characters in this book, had been born in Mexico and used some Spanish phrases as greetings and to show that she was rooted in the place that she had come from.

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September 2010

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