Some of My Favorite Quotes from In Other Lands

in other landsThere are so many great quotes from Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands that it needed a post of it’s own.  Serene-Heart-in the-Chaos-of-Battle has the best quotes. In Other Lands takes many tropes and turns them on their head.  One is gender roles.  In Serene’s Elven culture, women Elves take on more of what we in the human world would consider male roles.  This often brings up hilarious misunderstandings and some hard truths.  Here are just a couple

“Of course it is,” said Serene. “The woman goes through the physically taxing and bloody experience of childbirth. A woman’s experience of blood and pain is, naturally, what makes women-kind particularly suited for the battlefield.  Whereas, men are the softer sex, squeamish about blood in the main.  I know it’s the same for human men, Luke was extremely disinclined to discuss my first experience of a woman’s menses.”

Another gem by Serene.

“Come now. It’s natural for a young pure gentleman to be abashed by such discussions,” said Serene. “Forgive me for being so frank with you and puttin you to the blush, Luke.”

Another good one.  This from Serene’s cousin, Swift-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle to Elliot.

“No doubt you tempted her. Ah, a man’s morals are frail as they are, sweet silly creatures,” Swift said. “I do think it was up to Serene to control herself, though. She must have known I was considering you as a bride.  Your humanity would not have mattered so very much, up in the wild north where I am stationed, but now you have been sullied, of course it is out of the question.”

The hard truth.  Elliot to Swift.

“Um.” said Elliot. “Maybe both our societies are messed up, and they each only think one type of person is really a person. And the type they think is really a person is allowed to show imperfections and age…whereas the type of person they think is an object should show no signs of being a person. We’re socialized to see the imperfections in those objects.”

And there’s plenty more where that came from.  You should read the rest of the book.

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Quick Review: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

in other lands Is this Sarah’s best book?  No but it was fun and enjoyable so I’ll let it slide.  Elliot is one of the most obnoxious people you will ever meet but he’s also kind of charming.  One day, he is picked to go on a field trip where he is asked if he can see the wall in front of him.  He says of course he can, he’s not blind.  He’s taken over the wall and into the Borderlands.  A magical land that has humans, Elves, Dwarfs, Trolls, Harpies, Dryads and Mermaids.  Elliot is in enrolled in the Border camp that trains young soldiers to be in the Border patrol, to keep peace in the Borderlands.  On his first day there he meets the golden boy, Luke Sunborn and the Elven hottie, Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle.  He is immediately in love with Serene and so he chooses to stay beyond the wall.  He thinks that war is stupid and doesn’t understand how this society is made around war and does everything he can to stop fighting.  He manages to make friends with Serene and begrudgingly makes friend with Luke.  Throughout the years, the three of them go through so many ups and down.  They all find themselves and each other.  They rely on each other to get through the years of training but navigate around the camp.  Elliot comes from a very unhappy home.  His mother left when he was a baby and his father is incapable of love.  Elliot tries to make up for it by searching for love though he has no idea how to do it.  The best thing about this book is the positive portrayal of a bisexuality teen and turning gender roles on their heads.  Elliot is in love with Serene and there truly is no question of his feelings or is there any questions of his feelings for Luke either.  Love is love and doesn’t really care if that person is a girl or a guy.  Of course, his success with people depends on whether or not they want to slap him or not.  Like I said he’s very obnoxious.  He thinks he smarter then everyone, he has little patience.  It’s amazing he lasts as long as he has considering that everyone around him are heavily armed and trained on how to use multiple weapons.  It’s kinda unfair that a male character can be so rude but still come off as charming.  Then you have Serene who comes from a matriarhily society that sees women as the warriors and the men as the innocent.  Basically, in Elves society the genders are reversed and it’s hilarious.  I doubt we would have the same reaction for a female character but that’s an argument for another day.  It wasn’t the best book I’ve read this year but it was fun and a quick read.