Diana is a young, aspiring and aimless professor at Oxford. She is deeply fascinated with the history of the Amazons, the legendary warrior women of Greece, and this fascination is deeply connected with her own family history, particularly her Grandmother. When Diana is invited to consult on an archaeological excavation, she jumps at the chance when she realizes that there may be actual proof the Amazon's existed. But someone is determined to make sure the truth about the Amazon's is never found, not to mention her companion, Nick's, rival who's determined to stop them getting the glory.
I was really intrigued in the book, and I wasn't too disappointed..
First of all I've got to say, the book was fascinating and must have been well researched as the mythology was so rich in detail. I loved how the book twined the present day search for the Amazon's, with the past and the story of the Amazon Queen and what happened to them. It was a great tromp from Africa to Greece to Europe in the present day and the past, with well known figures like Prince Paris.
However, the book is very stodgy I found. There is a slight romance running through it to lighten it up a bit, in the present day with Nick and Diana, and in the past with Paris and Myrina. The world building was fantastic, it really was, Fortier manages to drag you back in to the past, and everything is so vivid.
There where a few missed opportunities, I think some things from the past could have been explained in more detail or could have had more time spent on them, not to mention that everyone from the past acted and spoke like someone from the present. The author kept mentioning how Diana had a parent from the US but she was British through and through...Read more ›
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I loved Juliet, so had high hopes for the next novel from Anne Fortier. I was not disappointed at all! This story or entwining of stories is beautiful and spellbinding. I read it in its entirety over 2 days. I have, off the back of it bought 4 other books on the same subject including Homer - The Iliad. Well done Anne another magical book to add to my collection . Please don't keep me waiting too long for book 3.
To any reader out there looking for a love story both past and present, reminding of the Greek myths surrounding Troy and to while away a few hours in complete enjoyment. You must pick up this book!
I have no idea why you can't get it as a kindle book though, its crying out for this release.
Summary: Beautiful, Spellbinding, An absolute must read.
YOU WILL NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! 5 great big stars!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5 Stars are not enough for this amazing book!16 Mar. 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
WOW! I scarcely know where to begin with this review - just WOW! This book has it all - adventure, intrigue, romance, exotic locales, strong female characters, amazing historical detail, ancient mythology, and Amazons, yes, Amazons! Even though I read Fortier's first novel, Juliet, and loved it, I was slightly nervous when I first noticed the length of this book...but I shouldn't have been! This is a big book at 608 pages, but it kept me utterly captivated throughout every single page. The author grabbed my attention with the prologue and never let go until the very last word.
The story is told in parallel timelines - one ancient and one contemporary - each with its own strong and engaging female lead character. This type of storytelling can be difficult to pull off, but when done well it is one of my favorites to read. I am pleased to say that Fortier manages it masterfully, and the tale moves seamlessly from one timeline to the other. I found both storylines equally compelling (which often isn't the case), and with each switch I was eager to catch up with the characters being featured. Fortier interweaves the two tales perfectly, as whenever a `discovery' is made in the modern story it is also explored and explained in the context of the Bronze Age timeline. Locations are shadowed, as well, as the modern adventurers trace the movements of the ancient Amazon women in an attempt to discover their final destination.
The mysteries keep you guessing, allowing you to discern just enough to keep you engaged, while still withholding secrets to surprise you as the tale unfolds. The romances develop over time and are not overdone. Myrina's relationship in the past timeline is particularly charming.
I am a big fan of ancient history and Greek mythology, and I found the author's reimagining of the events of the Trojan War to be nothing short of brilliant! I adored the twists she made to the `traditional' tale, and her alterations were so entirely plausible they deftly illustrate the concept that the story we `know', while hitting some of the same highlights, could easily be very different from the actual course of events.
The relevant issues of Black Market trading of antiquities and the importance of repatriation of such treasures are subtly touched on. Obviously, however, in a tale about Amazons one of the more overriding themes is the strength of women. This is aptly explored in both storylines, without coming across as overly feminist, and both main characters learn to embrace their strength and resilience, and resolve to never forget their legacy.
"I am an Amazon, the killer of beasts and men. Freedom runs through my veins; no rope can hold me. I fear nothing; fear runs from me. I always walk forward, for that is the only way. Try to stop me, and you will feel my rage."
It was fascinating to read a story about the Amazons, a group not often written about, and the idea of the possibility of modern day members of this sisterhood was especially intriguing.
I cannot say enough good things about this book and feel it will almost certainly be one of my best reads of 2014. I hope everyone else loves it as much as I did. I would give it more than 5 stars if I could!
And remember, as Diana learns while reading the history of her ancient Amazon sisters, "'Only we, the Amazons, will live forever.' What more do you need to know?"
*This review and more can be found on Great Reads and Tea Leaves blogspot*
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Interesting take on Amazon mythology11 Mar. 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Told in a double narrative, current day Diana and long ago Marina, this is a story about Amazons. More than that, it’s a story about love, history, and understanding who you are.
While Diana’s narrative was fun and exciting, it was Marina’s story that sucked me in. The adventures she embarked on in long ago Greece were intriguing. I love the retelling of Troy and the hints of Amazon influence in that, and other, well known myths.
The modern narrative felt a bit like a Dan Brown search. Hopping from place to place, following artifacts with bad guys chasing, the adventure was exciting, but a tad predictable. The romance was sweet, but a bit unnecessary as it took a back seat to the everything else.
Overall, this was interesting take on Amazon mythology. The highlight was definitely the historical narrative, but the entire story sucked me in enough that the pages flew by.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not Sorry I Read This Book but I Think My Expectation Were Raised too Much15 April 2014
Maybe I should have skipped this one and read her first English lnaguage novel, Juliet. Or maybe I would have had the same reaction given the raves that Juliet has received. Having one's expectations raised too high by a lot of rave reviews can cause greater disappointment when one's subjective experience does not equal what it feels like it should have been. It's one reason I avoid books with truckloads of five star reviews.
This is a book with two storylines. One involves the present day in which a female scholar named Diana is searching for the treasure of the Amazons. The second involves the history of the Amazons, as told from the viewpoint of Myrina, an Amazon who has set off to rescue her sisters who had been kidnapped by Bronze Age Agean pirates.
I didn't find the contemporary story line nearly as interesting as the historical story of Myrina and her fellow Amazons. The thesis of the contemporary story line was one that became popular in the 1960's and 70's and I've seen it reworked several times over the decades since so maybe I'm a bit jaded when another female scholar sets out to prove that the Amazons were historical.
I'm not sorry I read this book but I think I expected too much from it.
This is worth the read especially for the historical narrative of the Amazon protagonist who is strong and a multifaceted character who is thrown from one mishap into another which is pretty believable considering the time line.
The modern protagonist is not nearly as intriguing and the story line is often weak and predictable. The romance that was added to this segment only weakens the story line more and I found the focus muddied and a bit boring.
I just felt as if the author didn't really dig deeply enough into her own abilities and it really comes through in the shallowness of her modern character that having had such very difficult childhood you would have thought this would be a very determined, serious and introspective young women. Instead she just seemed fragmented and flaky much of the time, but is an interesting story even so.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The cover and the twist on Amazons and Troy is the best part19 July 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
A suspenseful fictional history that explores the past — with a feminist slant!
My Take The start took me back to Deborah Harkness' All Souls Trilogy as Dr. Morgan slips around Oxford University with her interest in Amazons.
The Lost Sisterhood, however, is not as well-written as Harkness' work. It's melodramatic with childish behavior, interactions that rub me the wrong way, and there's a juvenile quality to how the actions are laid out, although I must give Fortier kudos for an inventive and very plausible idea about the Amazons.
This whole story is full of dumb moves, leaps to conclusions on few facts, decisions are made based on overactive imaginations, and the adventurous actions and love interests are high schoolish. You'd never believe these were supposedly intelligent people.
A foundation that changes identities at the drop of a hat that can't be bothered to communicate, a suspicious bombing that's too convenient, Diana's willy-nilly tell of her weak-willed blind traipsing along, jeopardizing her chances at Oxford, and those Amazons really need to get with the twentieth century or get more pigeons. Then there are the stupid tropes that contribute to the eye rolling and mental gagging.
Nor did Fortier make it believable that Diana was enthusiastic about delving into Amazonian history to such an extent that she would continue to follow this guy through all the twists, turns, and "traps". Sure, Fortier told us how obsessed Diana was, but she didn't show me. I couldn't buy it that she was so fascinated that she ignore all the stupid hiccups along the way. Fortier needs to work on the tension levels here.
I think Fortier missed the boat with James as well. There were so many opportunities to drive the emotions and tensions with Diana's obsession with him, and there's all that hinting that Fortier did about the "truth" of James' involvement in events. It was annoying. Go somewhere with it!
Aloha? Seriously?? That lovely chicks comment was out of character unless it was meant as sarcasm??
The initial encounter with the priestesses was off. I don't know if I was distracted by Myrina's naiveté in leaving her sister on her own and "introducing" herself from atop the temple walls or by the priestesses' automatic judgment and then the high priestess' quick reversal and condemnation of her own people. For someone who has risen to her position of authority, I would expect more understanding of human behavior. Yep, there were eye rolls when some of the priestesses suddenly wanted to be friends, and the childish reactions of the annoyed ones. It was so abrupt, as if Foriter could now check that one off her list. Nor did I expect the priestesses to be so naive when the ships attacked.
I did like how Fortier split the story up between Diana's immediate day, her past, and the priestesses back in the Bronze Age. The re-telling of Homer's Troy and how Fortier tied in his "facts" with hers was fascinating, a great twist on the plot that actually makes as much sense as the original story.
I'm of two minds — when am I not!? — of the accusations of looting by Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Yes, Western archeologists did haul home tons and tons of artifacts from these countries. You know, the ones who were doing nothing to preserve their treasures while their own people were looting the tombs and selling them to anyone who'd buy them. Which generally were not their own people. So, all of a sudden, we're leaping into revisionist archeological practices?? It's bad enough that we keep trying to re-write history.
The accusations certainly fly fast and furious between James and Nick, each accusing the other of skullduggery. I must confess I enjoyed the creative ending for James. It was so perfect for both him and Diana.
I do like Nick's take on religious rules: "I try to live by the spirit of God, but not by the rules, because rules are made by man, and man is nothing but a fatally conceited flea on the mammoth of Creation."
On the whole, if you're fascinated by Amazons, you will enjoy that aspect of it (you will cry some), but on the whole...get it from the library.
The Story It's a golden opportunity and exactly what Dr. Morgan craves — recognition as the expert on Amazons and the chance to dig deep into history and find the proof to show the world. The money doesn't hurt either!
The Characters Dr. Diana Morgan is obsessed with Amazon culture, mostly due to the influence of her supposedly schizophrenic Granny. Rebecca Wharton is Diana's best friend (and the daughter of the vicar and his wife) since childhood and just as fascinated by the ancient past as Diana. Rebecca had a Bichon Frise, Spencer, when she was young that provided a momentous event in their young lives. Diana's mother was an embarrassing woman with her Moselane obsession. Vincent is her father, now retired from being the local headmaster.
Oxford University James Moselane was a part of Diana's childhood — at a distance anyway, having grown up in the big house. Lord and Lady Moseland are his parents. Professor Larkin is the lecturer Diana is temporarily replacing. Professor Vandenbosch is a sexist jerk. Professor Katherine Kent is Diana's mentor whom Diana ignores. Frank is the school porter.
Ahmed, a.k.a., Nick Barrán, is the escort who meets Diana in Djerba. John Ludwig represents the Skolsky Foundation, and is even more of a jerk than Vandenbosch. Seems it's not really the Skolsky Foundation, but the Aqrab Foundation. Maybe. Craig is the foreman at the site. Hassan al-Aqrab is a Dubai billionaire who uses terrorism to force foreign governments to return "stolen" artifacts. Kamal al-Aqrab is his son. Grigor Reznik is a crooked artifacts dealer in Istanbul who may be the head of a Swiss smuggling ring. He seeks to avenge his jerk of a son's, Alex's, murder. Chris Hauser.
Mr. Telemakhos is a quasi-academic wild card who has Rebecca under his spell. Dr. Özlem is a disgraced curator of a museum in Turkey. Dr. Jäger is associated with the Museum und Park Kalkriese where a young archeologist, Felix, helps Diana make a connection. Marko is a source in Suomussalmi with an interesting and slightly erroneous story about Molotov cocktails. Vabu Rusi, a survivor, is key. Dr. Huusko is a lifesaver in Suomussalmi.
Today's Amazons include Otrera, Tynne (a.k.a., Kara) is Otrera's sister, Lilli is this chapter's queen, Pitana, and Penthesilea.
The Bronze Age Myrina has trained herself to be a hunter; she and her sister, Lilli, were lucky they were away from their village, Tamash. Their mother's name was Talla, and it seems she had a secret past. Nena had been Myrina's friend.
The Moon Goddess' priestesses The High Priestess. The priestesses Animone, Pitana, and Klito are Myrina and Lilli's first friends. The traitorous Kara leads those who hate the girls. Neeta, Kyme, Egee, and Pylla are some of the other priestesses.
Prince Paris comes to Myrina's rescue again and again. Aeneas is his best friend; Creusa is his wife. Dares is another friend. King Priam is his resigned father. Minos is the king of Crete. Agamemnon is king of Greece and is based at Mycenae. Menelaos of Sparta is his treacherous nephew and new heir. Achilles is a pirate sanctioned by Agamemnon.
Helen escapes Agamemnon when the girls are rescued. The Lady of Ephesus will take the priestesses in through her human emissary, Lady Otrera, Paris' aunt. Penthesilea and Hippolyta are Otrera's daughters. Hercules has an unexpected role — and yes there's a reference to a girdle.
Dr. Trelawny was an old school chum of Diana's dad. Frederico Rivera taught Diana a nasty lesson.
The Amazon Hoard is considered a myth. Diodorus Siculus is an ancient Greek historian.
The Cover The cover is a glorious green with golden traceries in the corners, all softening in on a profile of a woman's torso in a black sleeveless top — modern and ancient at once — one arm crooked at the elbow, a jackal-headed bracelet twining its way around her forearm. I think the cover is the best part of this story.