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Warrior Who Carried Life [Hardcover]

Geoff Ryman


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rescue this book from obscurity March 29 2009
By David Bonesteel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mutilated and brutalized by a bizarre warrior sect with a dark secret, a young woman transforms herself into a man and seeks revenge. She travels to the Land of the Dead in search of the only weapon that will defeat them, only to learn that she is destined to play a pivotal role in the relationship between God, evil, and man.

This extraordinary novel deserves to be reprinted. Geoff Ryman creates an extraordinary world that exists in a kind of proto-Christian alternate universe where an evil snake tries to seduce mankind with the Tree of Life. Ryman is a wonderful stylist and his novel includes passages of thrilling action as well as touching sentiment and chilling horror. Many years ago, I bought a bag of Fantasy & SF back issues at a thrift store. One of them contained Harlan Ellison's favorable review of this novel. Several years after that, I spotted it in a used book store and purchased it. Now, I've finally read it. I came to the book through a long and tortuous path, but it was certainly worth the wait. Thanks, Harlan!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Sept. 11 2004
By C. E. Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book many years ago, but when I can remember some of the plot after more than 10 years then I know the book is a great read! The story is about a girl who is attacked savagely when she was young making her unable to have children. She participates in a magical ritual that turns her into a guy and she/he then becomes a strong warrior. As a warrior she/he protects those who are weak and falls in love. Eventually, the warrior becomes a woman again and has a baby. The story incorporates the idea of a tree of life and evil being in the form of a snake. Overall, I found it to be an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone that likes fantasy and action books!
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a myth not a novel July 26 2013
By Diana C. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I somewhat enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed the reviews and feel a little guilty giving the author only 3 stars when so many people (more than 2 on other sites) have raved about this book. Yes, the story is about a traumatized young woman who transforms into a male warrior for one year. She's supposed to become an animal, but because she was scarred and disfigured by fighters, her anger and defiance make her become the warrior instead. She can fight to get revenge and save others from abuse. What I enjoyed is that she never loses her sensitivity and desire to help women get treated better (than as slaves, subordinates, victims.) She often cries. That impressed me a great deal. She is also continually wounded as she overestimates the effort to fight untrained. Her sword and spear and shield often fight for her without her effort. Once her arm gets amputated, and the arm continues to fight on by itself. The reason I gave it only 3 stars, is because of the style. The different schools of martial arts all have names like, "The Baked Men," "The Spider Men," the "Angels," and the cities, houses have names. The names and phrases are hard for me to remember. For example, after Cara and Stefile return from their quest, the book reads, "In the Village by Long Water, a warrior and his supposed bride were suddenly seen to be living in the Important House. Liri Kerig who had left the house, would not say why she accepted them, or who they were." A lot of the action describes Cara's fights as though describing a myth. I would so much have preferred a more typical narrative stating how Cara feels from her point of view. This reminds me of folk tales. Folk tales and fairy tales often skip internal emotion and just narrate what happens. What's it like to be a man? Does Cara ever wonder? What does she look like? I agree that this is an excellent book, but it just isn't to my taste. I hope I have explained why. I kept trying to rewrite it and add the emotions that were missing as I was reading. But if you enjoy an unusual fantasy story with humor, horror, irony, vivid imagery, you will enjoy this book.
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