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Firethorn [Hardcover]

Sarah Micklem
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Bloody, insightful, emotionally wrenching and beautifully written, Firethorn is the impressive first volume of an epic fantasy trilogy. It's also an astonishingly assured debut novel that foretells Sarah Micklem's place among authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Goodkind, and Rosemary Sutcliff at the top rank of high fantasists.

A mysterious foundling with unique red hair and strange god-given powers, Firethorn is condemned to life as a powerless servant--or so she believes, until one of King Thyrse's noblemen becomes her lover. But, as she accompanies Sire Galan to war, Firethorn discovers she may have traded one form of bondage for another. A soldier's mistress--even a high-born soldier's mistress--is despised as a "sheath," or camp follower. Also, Firethorn's nasty ex-overlord, Sire Pava, has joined the king's army, and she has made a new enemy in her lover's cousin and closest friend, the sadistic Sire Rodela. However, she and Galan share a fiery love that will surely overcome the opposition of both their personal enemies and their kingdom's enemies. Then Sire Galan makes a strange, heart-shattering wager that may not only ruin his honor, but get them both killed. --Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com


Orson Scott Cardauthor of the "Ender Cycle" seriesMicklem plunges us into a fully realized world, full of grit and beauty. She takes the time to let relationships develop and events unfold, giving us the sense of having lived and loved our way through Firethorn's world. Micklem makes a worthy bid to be ranked with Robin Hobb, Mary Renault, and George R. R. Martin as a brilliant creator of realistic, character-centered fantasy. My only complaint is that the second book isn't out yet."

Book Description

Desire and magic can both drawn blood.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Desire and magic can both drawn blood.

For Firethorn, service in the Dame's household provides a more tolerable existence than that of most drudges. But her comfortable world is turned upside down when her old mistress dies, and the Dame's nephew arrives to claim his inheritance. Firethorn's unusual looks and god-favoured copper tresses attract dangerous attention and she is forced to run away into the Kingswood. After a year of solitude she emerges, indebted to the god who saved her life, and blessed, or cursed, with uncanny abilities.

On Upside-Down Day, when the lord of the manor drags the plough and his wife dresses as a peasant and waters the ground, everyone goes masked and couples with whom they will. On that day, Firethorn is chosen by a great knight. Such liaisons mean nothing, other than to swell the working population with some good noble blood the next year; but Sire Galan, bewitched by Firethorn, will not give her up, despite class boundaries, snobbery and threats from his powerful relatives. And so begins Firethorn's career as Galan's camp-follower or 'sheath' as the army marches to war - an insecure, despised, dangerous situation for any woman, especially one who has made many enemies…

'A sweeping adventure saga as mystical as it is raw… this hypnotic tale of passion and survival will resonate with sophisticated readers of both sexes.'
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sarah Micklem had jobs in a restaurant, printing plant, sign shop, and refugee resettlement agency before discovering that graphic design was an enjoyable way to make a living. She wrote Firethorn while working as an art director for children's magazines in New York City. She lives with her husband, poet and playwright Cornelius Eady, in Washington, DC, where she is writing the second book of the Firethorn trilogy.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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