Whew, that was an intense ride. I must say that I disagree with Bitch Mag's assessment of this book (caution if googling, spoilers abide within). There is grimness aplenty in this book, but also various joys, fierce love, weird-arse carnival-type themes (not the circus kind), a good helping of thorny, intricate dilemmas, and an acknowledgement and exploration of humanity's bleaker urges. If I were going to be concerned about any tropes in it, it would be the racial and little-person issues more than the rape ones - does the book draw on and play with mythic/fairytale tropes ("Rose Red and Snow White" particularly), or just repeat them? And are they the author's to play with in the first place?Plenty to think about here. I'll be looking for more Lanagan to read.