I can tell you that Ariah embodies the true potential of Bildungsroman in terms of the protagonist’s journey to adulthood, and that its intelligent, powerful, emotive discussion of gender, sexuality, culture, racism, imperialism, language, family, love, autonomy and personhood, among other things, is evocative of the best aspects of both Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor and Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice. That these books have been nominated for, and won, some of the most prestigious awards in the field should, I hope, convey my full meaning: that Ariah deserves a place among them. But none of that tells you how it made me feel.

On Queerness, Subversion, Autonomy, and Catharsis: B.R. Sanders’ Ariah Reinvents the Bildungsroman |