It might sound like a silly question, I know, but something someone said to me today has made me concerned that my book sounds childish and nonsensical. Apparently: "having a woman who burns people at the stake, cuts off heads and betrays is too childish for people to take her seriously."
In my book, I've got men with excessively feminine names and attributes as well as plenty of women who are clad in full iron armour and won't hesitate to chop off someone's head. I know that in those times women were (and still are, in some perspectives) discriminated against, would be 'owned' by the husband and definitely not on the front lines during war. I learnt that during history.
I'm scared that because I have so many women who go around cutting open arrows, assassinating kings, and not playing the stereotypical role of a woman in those times my book will appear like it's written by someone negligent.
Does it matter if you break gender stereotypes? Of the present day, or at the 'time your book is set in'.
Do many readers not expect for example, the things I mentioned above? Would they think my writing is childish if I broke stereotypical gender roles?