on 24 January 1999
A mercenary captain obliged to train a bevy of middle and upper class ladies in the arts of war and lead them against a mighty wizard. Sounds dire, doesn't it? But with Hambly in charge you are always guaranteed an intelligent handling of plot and characters delineated with delicacy and creativity. This is no "thud and blunder" epic of sword and sorcery - it is, as one grows to expect of this author - a thing of beauty and a novel you will happily read time and again. I first read "The Ladies of Mandrigyn" a decade or more ago when I was an enthusiastic adolescent with less than discerning taste in literature, but Barbara Hambly's books stand the test of time. Buy it, already!
on 8 November 2012
Barbara Hambly has a good imagination and the story itself is fairly gripping - I was anxious to keep reading, and spent more time than I could really afford sneaking off for a few more minutes.
But I got very tired of the endless repetition - almost every time she appeared, Starhawk's profile and character were redrawn using a random selection from a reservoir of a few dozen words. The same was true of virtually every character, and indeed, every situation, journey, the weather or piece of landscape. This repetition added nothing to the story, and had it been left out the book would have lost nothing and been half the size.