I really enjoyed the book, until I got to the end and all the strong awesome characters were raped and killed. Granted it's war and these things happen, but I couldn't finish the last two chapters because it made me so sick. I was really disappointed too because most of the book was very empowering & beautifully written. If you can handle the rape and death of your favorite characters, then I suppoe it's not a bad book.
An excellent look at the Trojan Wars through the eyes of a woman.
Simply put, there are very few authors who can match Marion Zimmer Bradleys amazingly rich and encompassing fantasy tales. With a reputation for using intriguing ideas and old-world realities, the stage is set for anything of Bradleys that goes into print, whether her own or that of her close friend Diana L. Paxson, who often writes under Bradleys name. Together these two provide an in-depth look at times long past in an enlightening and entertaining way. Ive also discovered that her books appeal particularly to Wiccans and Pagans because of their often Goddess/Mother centered themes.
Personally when I think of Troy and that epic tale originally told in the Iliad, I almost always think of the Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom movie that was released in 2004. Knowing that that movie as my only real knowledge of Troy, and knowing full well that one of the films greatest criticisms was that it wasnt historically accurate, I decided to discard all that I knew about the siege of Troy to read Firebrand.
One of the things that I loved the most was the characters. When Kassandra is a child, she describes Hector as a bully and isnt overly fond of him, but when she meets him again after his death in the Spirit World, theyre obviously fond of each other. Paris, traditionally depicted as the romantic, star-crossed lover who sparked the Trojan War along with Helen, doesnt get away scot-free in this version. Here, hes depicted as petty, arrogant and not very likable. Makes me wonder why Helen went with him, even if she did have Aphrodite Herself urging her to go.
The introduction and development of other characters that are rarely, if ever, talked about today also added to the depth of the story. I loved that Kassandras mother, Hecuba, had once been an Amazon but had chosen to settle down with a man. Hecuba is a direct contrast to her sister Penthesilea, who is an active Amazon Queen. Depicting the Amazons, at first from Kassandras young eyes all the way to their ultimate destruction fighting Agamemnon was heart-wrenching but also brilliant. Bradley represented virtually every kind of woman and explored all of the choices we have to make throughout our lifetimes. It was both entertaining and eye-opening.
Something that I feel Bradley is legendary for is how she keeps time flowing. Her flawless transitions let you know how much time has passed in vivid, worldly descriptions that are much better than X Months Later.
The only reservation I have about Bradleys books is how long it takes me to read them. I have to be in the right mood and really have to keep myself on task to get through them. Dont get me wrong; her stories are great. Theyre just very overwhelming. I suppose they have to be like that though, otherwise they would be regular paperback novels, and she just another fantasy writer.
In The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of The Mists of Avalon, has re-imagined the story of the Trojan War -- and retells it from the point of view of Kassandra, the beautiful and tormented royal princess of Troy. (From the flyleaf of the cover)
This book is fantastic! I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since I read it 10 years ago. This is a unique and powerful story about the Trojan war from a new angle.
I loved the spin that Bradley put on the famous story and its characters. I like how she was able to have fantasy elements, such as the Gods being real with the ability to take over a person's body when they want to directly influence events and Kassandra's true visions, yet she made some other aspects of the mythology more grounded in reality. For example, the Kentaurs were not really half man/half horse. They were tribes of men that rode the plains on horses. Since they almost never got off their horses, their legs were bowed and the color of their skin matched that of the horses people often mistook them as being part one entity. Like many of Bradley's novels, this one had a feminist take on events. Kassandra often wishes she could live with the Amazons or in Colchis (where the city is ruled by queens) instead of a society where women are slaves to their husbands. The story did drag a little in the middle for me, knowing the story and the fate of Troy, I began to tire of reading about the siege and was ready for the horse to appear. I definitely would recommend this book to others interested in a retelling of the Fall of Troy.
Loved the Sacred Feminine perspective..also check out Mists of Avalon!
Wonderful book. Fictionalized story of the Trojan war.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of the popular series, Mists of Avalon, writes the story of the Trojan War from the viewpoint of Kassandra, the royal princess of Troy.
In her bestselling novel, The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley brilliantly recreated th elegend of King Arthur. Now, in The Firebrand, she brings all the passion and drama of the Trojan War to vivid, breathtaking life. Seen through the eyes of the beautiful prophetess Kasandra, the fall of Troy unfolds in a new and daring way.
I enjoyed this, but it's not as good as the Avalon books. This was an interesting female perspective of the Trojan War, but a bit long winded in some parts.
The story of Troy, seen thru the eyes of Kassandra, the prophetess. Excellent, unusual retelling. I really enjoyed this book.
I loved this book. Great characters and a story we all know but told from behind the scenes. This is one of the best books I have ever read.
This was a great book and a wonderful look at a very overshadowed woman in the Greek mythos. Kassandra is written off as a whiny, powerless creature in the myths but Firebrand reimagines a woman strong enough to attract the god Apollo in the first place and determined enough to survive the destruction of her world.
Exceptionally readable retelling of the Trojan War from a female perspective!