The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1)

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1) - The Iron Duke is essentially set in an alternate reality during Victorian Time. Rhys is the saviour of England because he freed the people from invaders named the Horde by crashing into the tower. The tower held some sort of instrument which controlled the people through nanoagents implanted in their bodies through the consumption of food. These nanoagents allowed the Horde to control all emotions, movement and sexual activity. Mina, the female protagonist is the result of something called a frenzy - horde induced group sexual madness, in which her mother was raped. So devastated was her mother upon seeing her that she ripped out her own eyes.Rape was a major feature in this novel because consent is clearly coerced throughout the story. When Mina shows up at Rhys' home because a body has been dumped on his property, this small interaction is enough for him to determine her his because he experienced lust for the first in a very longtime. Rhys' says to Mina, “I want to possess you. And if I want something I find a way to have it (pg 167)." I know that we are talking about Victorian times, in which women were the properties of their father's until their marriage; however, Rhys' determination of Mina as property when he had absolutely no claim on her whatsoever, only serves to drive home how little value Mina's personhood is really worth.When her brother goes missing, Rhys offers to look for him, if Mina agrees to share his bed, with the full knowledge that her family did not have the resources to search on their own. "After paying the taxes, which were hardly lower than the Horde had demanded, and wages for the cook and two maids - far fewer than the town house needed, even with most of the rooms closed up - all together Mina's family earned just enough to scrape by" (pg 52). Obviously by any reasonable standard the family was not truly indigent however, what constituted poverty in those times, in specific circles, is quite different than today; this fact that does not make Rhys' proposition any less disgusting. On several occasions, he forces a kiss upon her, though she makes it clear that she is not interested in him. Mina even attempted to squeeze his genitals in an effort to force Rhys to keep his distance, but instead of causing the horror that she planed, it arouses him. She rejects him with words, with violence and even with a weapon, but Rhys is determined that he can make her want him. I do not know how many more times Mina could have said no, or how much more vehement she could be in her refusals.When Rhys does sexually assault Mina, he actually has the nerve to be shocked that she is not overcome with joy. This btw, after her consistent stream of rejection for him. She says no repeatedly and he has to restrain her hands when she tries to pull his head away. In response, she drugs him with an opium dart. The next morning he apologises to her and then claims that he would never have forced her into having sex with him, because he is a rape survivor himself -- except that is exactly what he did by ignoring her every time she said no. If that were not enough, Mina falls in love with her rapist. Please tell me what women falls in love with the person who violates them in that manner? I found this absolutely disgusting and was extremely hard pressed not to throw my e-reader across the room. Not only does she love Rhys, she risks her life to save his TWICE.Read More