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Firebrand

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The Firebrand is another 600 pages novel by one of my favourite writers Marion Zimmer Bradley. As in The Mists of Avalon the story of King Arthur is told with a different perspective, Firebrand tells the story of Troy and the Trojan Wars with a twist, giving more space to the female characters. It tells us how the old religion of worshipping the goddesses and the days were Queens ruled the cities and Amazon warriors lived, away from and without men meeting them only in mating seasons, declines in favor of worshipping the new Gods, and cities being ruled by kings where women's role was to stick to the women's quarters, cook, weave and breed the king many sons.

The story is told by Kassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy and sister of Paris, who grows up to be a priestess, and lives as a sworn virgin of Apollo in his temple. She has the gift of the sight since her childhood, but her gift is her curse, she always prophecies the fall of Troy, and no one wants to believe her and they decide to treat her as a mad woman.

The book is very interesting, it kept me company while I was sick and wasnt able to leave my bed much, but it's LONG. Though I never got bored of it, I got tired of some scenes being repeated in a very similar way almost with the same dialogue. For example, the scene were Khryse , Kassandra's fellow priest tries to seduce her and she answers that she is a virgin of Apollo and will never give herself to a mortal man, and then ends up angry and swearing that even if she should give herself to a mortal she'll never give herself to him if he was the last man on earth. Also the scene, when the sight comes upon her while she's among her family and she gives them an evil prophecy, the way they react to her is the same, I thought that they should get used to it after sometime, and stop accusing her every single time that she only sees evil omens and that she is just plain mad.

I enjoyed it while reading it, but I'm glad I've finished it..I get so absorbed in these kind of novels and my mood is affected very much. And reading about so many evil prophecies, and how Kassandra tries to interpret them had me having very weird dreams (probably also the effect of being sick), then trying to interpret them in the few minutes before truly waking up and realizing it was only a dream.

I really enjoy reading fantasy novels..though it is time consuming and I have a lot of work to do. Anyway I got another book by her, from the book fair (sour el azbakeya hall)..I still prefer reading books to e-books. It's one of her Darkover Series and I'm looking forward to read it.

Comments

I am reading your aunt's book In the eye of the sun. Although it a long one but so i am enjoying it. I like the way she describes in details the 5th of june day. Was she actually going to college on that day? It seems so real as if she is telling a very true story!

She's actually Alaa's aunt.

I read in the eye of the sun long time ago, it was a great book but it got me depressed in the end.

Ahdaf Soueif is also one of my favourite writers, I just hope she writes more.

Also read her "Map of Love"..amazing.

I read the translation of the Map of Love published by maktabet el osra, Wao, what an idea, a mother translating for her daughter (how I wish to do the same one day), it was a long one as well, but really To7fa (amazing is the real word for it), I didn't read something like this for a long time.