Rereading, I still love this book. Actually, I think I love it more. However, one thing did start to bother me. I love Amat. She's an archetype you so rarely see in fantasy novels: an older woman, no magical skills or combat abilities, just tenacity and mad talent at accountancy. I love that she tries to save her city, and I love that she fails and grits her teeth and keeps going, trying to salvage some industry from the wreckage of their economy. I kind of love her romance plot line with Wilsin, too, that she's allowed
to be an object of desire despite being old and infirm--and that she chooses to prioritize her own career and her own city over romance anyway.
I do not love that her plotline takes place in a brothel. Because, seriously, fantasy genre: what is with
your obsession with prostitution? She could have hidden out in a weaving sweatshop, and the book's plot would be exactly the same, except with 100% less background rape. (Because these are not happy hookers with hearts of gold, they're children and the destitute, people bound and indentured to their master, people who do not want
this lifestyle and/or are not old enough to consent to it in any meaningful sense, and the book makes this very clear.) And I mean, yes, rape happens. It's part of the world. I am female. I cannot avoid knowing this. But when it adds nothing to the story, when it's treated as no more than local color--I am tired of reading about it.