Title: The Hidden Girl
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals Quartet #2.6, Tortall #15
In: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection (Tamora Pierce)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: “The temple priests are in the right of it after all, and the first error lies in teaching women to read,” he said, his eyes twinkling.
I liked the intersection of The Hidden Girl with Elder Brother. It is subtle and only a fleeting moment, but it looks at a culture and a non-Tortallan country from two vastly different standpoints. Yet, both put forward a woman’s plight and fight for power. The Hidden Girl is a great reminder that we all go about things in our own ways, and there is not one right was in which to find power in your own world.
I have heard a lot of different arguments for and against the use of burkahs and hijabs. I have read a number of different ethnographies, and, as someone who is from an English background, I find it an interesting academic debate which highlights a lot of the issues that women face today. Pierce’s use of Fadal and her deception in Elder Brother and Teki’s embracement of the veils in The Hidden Girl show two sides to this same argument. And honestly, it was beautifully done, so many times, this area has led to screaming between otherwise level-headed university acquaintances. (Ironically, it has often been a man yelling that he knows what is best, but that is a whole other discussion to have.) Rather than putting one point of view forwards, Pierce is able to look at how different women come up with different solutions to a problem.
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