When Chaucey was born, many would have dubbed him a girl, but his mother needed a son. Raised a boy and desperate for knighthood, Chaucey conforms to expectations. However, he is never sure where his heart truly lies, lost in a tangle of what is needed by the world, and by himself. Loving his childhood friend Malin leaves him unfulfilled. Loving the beautiful Queen RhoswenWhen Chaucey was born, many would have dubbed him a girl, but his mother needed a son. Raised a boy and desperate for knighthood, Chaucey conforms to expectations. However, he is never sure where his heart truly lies, lost in a tangle of what is needed by the world, and by himself. Loving his childhood friend Malin leaves him unfulfilled. Loving the beautiful Queen Rhoswen seems impossible, although she longs to escape her husband's grasp......
|Title||:||The Song of Sir Chaucey|
|Number of Pages||:||205 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Song of Sir Chaucey Reviews
I must admit I read this one very quickly, and should probably reread it for nuance. Nevertheless it felt most natural to read it that way: the scenes are short, and the book itself is only 26k words. Anyways! It was good.The PremiseChaucey is raised as a boy, even though most would say given his anatomy that he is a girl. This is because his mother needs a son in order to keep the estate--otherwise it will pass out of the family. As Chaucey grows older, he ponders what it means to be a man or a woman or both, and maybe falls in love a couple times, once with his childhood friend Malin (a squire) and once with none other than the queen of the country, Rhoswen. But this is still much more a story of self discovery for Chaucey than a romance.My ThoughtsDisclaimer: I'm a cisgender woman reviewing a book about what it means to be genderqueer. Although I've had my own problems with gender conformity and there were many ways I empathized with the protagonist, I am not an expert in this area and you may take all my words with a grain of salt!That said, I really liked how this book explored the nature of gender. What does it mean to be male or to be female? Does biology order gender? Does socialization decide gender? Is it something a person decides for themself, based on how they feel? Katy Williams doesn't give an easy answer to this question, or really answer it at all, instead allowing through Chaucey that it might be a little of all of these, and differ from person to person. Chaucey considers himself a man, generally: Is that because something about him is essentially male or because of the way he was raised? Does it matter, or should people just respect his wishes and let it be?As I said above, there were many ways that I empathized with Chaucey's gender frustrations. Even as a cisgender woman, I've definitely been frustrated in the past by dudes who project some idealistic feminine image onto me, because that image has little connection to how I see my own gender identity. Chaucey, as a genderqueer person who considers himself more male than female, has far greater problems with that than me, and he has people pushing him on both sides--Malin wanting him to live as female and give up what he sees somewhat as a charade, and his mother and society pushing him to be male and not express any part of his femininity. It's a lot. Chaucey struggles to see his own path through these varying perceptions and pressures, and understand what he himself wants his gender to mean in his life.Rhoswen and Malin are both great characters in my eyes. Malin acts as a foil to Chaucey, highlighting the ways Chaucey feels male or female in comparison to him. At times he is insensitive to Chaucey's identity but he still remains a sympathetic character and he never means ill. Rhoswen, on the other hand, provides an interesting model for femininity within this work, being very traditionally female but still feeling at odds with a different identity, the identity of being a queen. Incidentally, I was happy that she was not the only woman presented in the work (Chaucey's mother and an actress offset her) because if she was presented as the only model for femininity it would have felt disingenuous purely because of how traditionally feminine she comes across: a literal queen who dreams of having children and taking a lover and requires a stronger person to take care of her. As is, I think she stands as only one example of femininity and that allows me to enjoy her character more. And I think she and Chaucey make an interesting couple...though they are not given much page time to explore that.Can't finish this review without mentioning the interesting narrative structure! This novella is composed as a series of brief occurrences, each preceded by Chaucey's age at the time. While the chapters are in chronological order there are often gaps of a year or more between them. This allows the novella to cover thirty-seven years of Chaucey's life in a very short book, and while I could wish for more detail of the intervening years to be given, I have to admit that would lead to a lot of summary, and it's kind of fun to fill in the blanks for yourself. Apparently Katy Williams also writes short fiction and that definitely is evident in this book's format.I would recommend this book to novella lovers, people who like books exploring gender, people who like books that play with narrative structure, and people who just straight up like a tale of a queer knight and his beautiful lady (and sometimes also his squire). It's very good.