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Maia Hardcover – 1 Jan 1985

4.1 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf; First American Edition edition (Jan. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394528573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394528571
  • Package Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 6.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,938,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading Shardik - I've read that before, but it was a long time ago. The aforementioned did have a bit too much waffle, but the last act was excellent. Overall, a good book.

This is certainly not the case with Maia (Bekla book 2). It was blah blah blah. Strange names for body parts. Blah blah blah. Sex. Blah blah blah. Bit of feeble intrigue. blah blah blah. An officer turns up to fill Maia (ie, the reader) in on something interesting going on elsewhere. More blah blah blah. Maia dances/swims. Blah blah blah. Snore....

By about 75% way through I was ready to give up. And that's a first for me. But I kept on going, thinking that the pain's nearly over, and perhaps something remotely interesting might happen. Not a patch on "Watership Down". He seems to have forgotten about pacing and plot.

I'm very disappointed, and simply cannot understand the high ratings this long-winded bore has received. Apparently he offered to write another book in this series, but the publisher turned him down. That after Watership Down, a book that sold zillions? Says it all.

Save yourself some time and money, read Game of Thrones instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This really is one of the greats. A lighter simpler book, almost an early game of thrones "type" book, with a way smaller cast, situated around Maia, a peasant girl sold into prostitution. Written with the beautiful language and description of Richard Adams.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm very glad indeed that this book has been released for the Kindle, because it's one of my favourites, and at over 1200 pages the hard copy is pretty large to transport.

This is a wonderful if relatively little-known story by Richard Adams (most famous for 'Watership Down'). The characters are exquisitely drawn, and in contrast to 'Watership Down', almost all the main characters are women or girls. I've been reading this book on and off for the last 20 years or so - one to treasure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good
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Format: Kindle Edition
Though set in the same fantasy world as Shardik, it seems to be a pointless tale of prostitution and fantasy porn written in a tedious fashion. Compared with four * for Shardik, this rates a one or two. I read it twice, once at release and inexplicably once more recently.
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
'Tolkien meets Barbarella' was a thought that crossed my mind after wading through a couple of hundred pages of this lot. There is a very Tolkienish map in the inside cover, and none other than Sauron himself was actually a Maia - (I wonder how well Adams had been remembering his Silmarillion). Powers other than human do not actually figure in this book until it suddenly hoists itself on to a startlingly higher level with the penultimate scene in the Streels of Urtah, but we have had to get through 1000 pages and more before we reach that.
Airport-bookstall doorstoppers of books about Fabled Imaginary Empires always run a risk of self-parody, particularly when they contain a generous lacing of fleshly detail about vile slave-masters and their able-bodied retinues, and I find myself genuinely sorry that Adams saw fit to squander his great talent on a pot-boiler like this. Many of his familiar virtues are still here, to be sure. He has real and exceptional gifts for natural description for one thing, he does very well with giving individuality to a very crowded cast of characters, and he is a born storyteller. Nevertheless he lets his storytelling ability run away with him here. The plot is held together in a very competent way, but really the book could have been half as long as it is, or even, (heaven forfend), twice as long. There is no real reason, other than the limits on human stamina and longevity, why this succession of tableaux might not have gone on to infinity. However the basic trouble with this book is the lack of a sense of humour.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before Game of Thrones, there was Maia. Dynastic struggles between warring provincial lords? Check. Armies marching out to die in the dust? Check. Central degenerate city jam-packed full of slaves, whores, dodgy fat spymasters and noble bastard sons? Check. Feisty women on the run? Check. Plenty of gratuitous sex and acts of barbarism? Check. A really difficult-to-cross river? Check. There is no equivalent of the Freys or the Boltons, thank goodness.
I loved this book as a teenager and am thrilled it's now out for Kindle (I already have the hardback first edition). Maia, Occula and Bayub-Otal are like old friends and despite the occasional ludicrousness of the plotting and the very old-fashioned gender politics and social stereotyping, I still love it. Vivid, memorable characters and locations, sumptuously depicted set-pieces like the Rains Banquet, two heroines you really care about, and a doomed and haunting romantic subplot featuring a captive noblewoman.
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