3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Aliya wakes up in a completely different world and body after she has encountered a car accident in her original life. She used to be an active medical student who would do sacrifices just to paint a wonderful future for her family’s welfare. At first, she was grumpy about dealing with her new life; however, she then realizes that she wasn’t born just to give up. Aliya was reborn as Countess Lillian Earton, who ought to rule a collapsing kingdom in an alternate medieval time. She has to get up and do her responsibility to save their falling realm.
First Lessons is the first book of the Medieval Times series written by Lina J. Potter. It is a historical fiction starred by a female protagonist that features social issues mainly about gender discrimination. The plot of this fiction centres on the idea of time travel, wherein a woman in the present time reincarnated to the body of someone who no longer wants to live. The book is written from the author’s point of view, and it helped in imposing an idea.
“There were just four things a woman could be (five at most): daughter, wife, mother, widow, and slut. That was it. There were no other roles for them—no free and independent women, no feminism, no selfsufficiency. If you didn’t like it, you could be branded a witch and executed.” This line in location 37 had me captivated. As a woman, I am proud of the author’s initiative in producing a story that covers sexism. I am aware that this has been prevalent even in medieval times but this book helped me to be enlightened on how bad it was. My favourite aspect of the book is its theme; feminism. The character exhibits a well-rounded development throughout the story. The struggle of the main character to progress was the women’s lack of authority at that time. Females were expected to be doing the household chores and a pawn for marriage in order to obtain a quality state of living. Moreover, I could say that the author’s works were well-researched. She provides footnotes consisting of the history, definition of terms, and other explanations of the unfamiliar elements in the story.
My least favourites are: first, the author’s style of jumping from one setting to another. She failed to do it in a satisfying manner. In some parts, I get lost on track since I can no longer follow the scene. Second, Aliya’s attitude was cold and unrealistic. The moment she knew about being on someone’s body, she did neither panic nor show agitation about her situation. Instead, she was just relaxed and annoyed at the same time about her fats, the nanny’s dirty apron, and the pink paint on her room. Lastly, the book has an open ending. I understand that this has a sequel, but Potter must have given her readers a satisfying ending that will cause us to eagerly wait for the second book. Although I do not have a problem regarding its translation and grammar, the format and organization of the book really bother me. It is really tiring to look at.
Due to the flaws mentioned above, I’ll rate it with 3 out of 4 stars. I’ll only deduct one point since rating it lesser will not give justice on how wonderfully-written this book is. I recommend this to readers who love science fiction novels, particularly stories involving time traveling. Furthermore, this suits all ages since it contains no disturbing issues and vulgar scenes. The gender-based barriers in the story can teach young women the importance of supporting other women. Equally, this can convey a moral lesson to young men to be aware of the significance of gender-equality in building society.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon