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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Marion Zimmer Bradley book
This is among my FAVORITE books of all. In the tradition of Mists of Avalon, all those who wish to read about the female/goddess perception of fantasy-historical tales MUST read this book. I cringe to watch the new TROY movie because now the female version makes so much sense to me. I love this book more than MISTS.. even though that book changed me. I'm so happy to...
Published on May 9 2004 by Mizdeegz

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3.0 out of 5 stars "Mists"-lite
In this retelling of the Trojan war from Kassandra's point of view, Marion Zimmer Bradley re-explores some of the themes she previously visited in THE MISTS OF AVALON, including an ancient, Goddess-centered and feminine-centered religion that is slowly fading away before a newer, male-oriented religion, as well as a retelling of mythological/historical events from a...
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by debeehr


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2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't match up to others by this author., July 4 2004
By 
S. Kowalski (Mi USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
Having read all of Marion Zimmer Bradley books, I have learned to love her style of writing. However, I felt that this book fell short. I think the only reason I made it through the whole book was because it was by this author and I kept expecting the ending to make up for the rest of it. This did not happen and the ending was a let down. I kept wondering, what is the point of this story? There was much rambling on about different gods which took away from the characters. Everything the main charcter, Kassandra, set out to do was in vain. I felt very disappointed when finished with this book. While I have treasured and even re-read previous Bradley books in the past, I will not open this one again. I do recommend The Mists of Avalon or The Priestess of Avalon instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at Greek Mythology, June 23 2004
By 
S. Hosein (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
Though there were several things I didn't like about this book, it inspired such emotion from me that I have to say in spite of myself that it is very well-written and I understand the author's message. First off, for the readers that seem to slam her inclusion of mother-goddess worship in those times over preference for the dominant male-god worshipping, they are not looking at Greek mythology closely! The "Earth Mother" discussed is none other than the Greek Goddess Gaia who came before Zeus, Hera etc. The Python and the slaying of the Python by Apollo is in reference to Gaia's child and Apollo's slaying of it. Just type up Gaia, Greek mythology on any search engine and you can read about it. As for her "belittling" of the Trojan horse in the myth as others seem to complain about, again this is understandable. Archaelogical evidence over the supposed "discovered" city of Troy believes that Troy did fall to an earthquake and there is no evidence of a Trojan horse. This book was Bradley's attempt to get closer to the truth about Troy - a myth that has fascinated many for years and also seems to include a clear bias to male characters throughout time in such epic novels as "The Illiad", "Odyssey" etc. If one woman comes forth and challenges those stereotypes, then what is so terribly wrong about that?! In the other epic novels, Paris' act is not nearly criticized as much as it should be and Helen is mainly portrayed as a lascivious, evil adultress. In this novel, Bradley portrays a self-centered Paris, because obviously that's what he was to have committed his deed and portrays Helen simply as a woman exercising her right in choosing a lover. My major dissapointment in the novel was Kassandra's departure from Aeneas (though her re-creation of Aeneas was right on target!) - I would have preferred her give the true "Aeneid" retelling because it seemed more believable but then, I didn't write this book. Also, if we again look closely at Greek mythology, one would realize that Kassandra could very well represent the ideal of a modern woman with the choices she made in her time. As far as I'm concerned, Bradley attempted to convey this and I applaud her for it. She seemed to do a lot of research into this book - we see that in her postscript and also with her interpretation of the entire myth throughout the book. She uncovered a lot of old, almost lost stories of Greek mythology such as the Gaia retellings inserted in the novel and revived it for us to take a closer look. If you're looking for a fascinating, honest attempt at a retelling of this myth, you've read the right book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, poor execution..., May 11 2004
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
If you're looking for a 'typical' Bradley book, this one falls short of most of her previous retellings. The premise of the book, whereby we see through Kassandra's eyes during the Trojan War, is interesting and I thought that if anyone could pull this off admirably it would be Bradley. However, this falls way short of her other books by a longshot.
First of all, her characters are hopelessly static and laregely unsympathetic. Using Mists of Avalon as a yardstick, every character in that book except one was a dynamic, exciting character that I felt sorry for and I could easily empathize with. In this novel, Bradley seems to have gone on a far more feminist bent and it seems she almost refuses to give any male in the story a sympathetic side. Paris, Hector, and Priam act ridiculously stereotypical and I still cannot understand why Paris acts the way he does toward his sister. The explanation that Bradley yields to us is hardly acceptable. The only male characters you might sympathize with is Odysseus, who is caught between friendship and honor. Even Aeneas is a flat character who only serves as a love interest to Kassandra. After all, if he wasn't there (in the novel as that role) then Kassandra would have seemed even less real. This character problem doesn't only relate to males though. Imadara, Penthesila, Andromache, and Polyexna are all horribly underwritten and underrepresented. Most of the time I was reading this book I was asking myself, "Who possibly acts like this?!" I'm fully aware of what Ancient Greece (and obviously by extension, Ancient Troy) was like, but I simply see many of these characters emontional conflicts as contrived and forced. Paris strangling his sister?! Andromache's hatred toward Kassandra at the end?
If you love Bradley, this book is an interesting read. However, Bradley's true strength is in her characters, and in this book, she simply falls far too short of her earlier more successful efforts. I would recommend that if you haven't read Bradley yet, then pick up Mists of Avalon or any other book in that 'series.'
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Marion Zimmer Bradley book, May 9 2004
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
This is among my FAVORITE books of all. In the tradition of Mists of Avalon, all those who wish to read about the female/goddess perception of fantasy-historical tales MUST read this book. I cringe to watch the new TROY movie because now the female version makes so much sense to me. I love this book more than MISTS.. even though that book changed me. I'm so happy to see it re-editioned, as my original is yellowing and torn. READ THIS BOOK!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased..., Dec 6 2003
By 
"witchchild101" (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
I am a big fan of mythology and I try to read as many books as I can on the subject. When I found this book I didn't know if it was going to be a good book or not, seeing as I had never heard of the author before. By the time I had finished the first two chapters I was hooked. I loved the detail that she put into the characters and the surrounding areas. Reading the book was like watching a movie. I highly recomend this book for anyone who is a fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "Mists"-lite, Sept. 1 2003
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
In this retelling of the Trojan war from Kassandra's point of view, Marion Zimmer Bradley re-explores some of the themes she previously visited in THE MISTS OF AVALON, including an ancient, Goddess-centered and feminine-centered religion that is slowly fading away before a newer, male-oriented religion, as well as a retelling of mythological/historical events from a female viewpoint. This is not as well done as in Mists, partly because we remain locked in Kassandra's single viewpoint the whole time and therefore lose the breadth and scope that made Mists so memorable, and partly because she did it before so the characters do not seem as original. However, this is still an interesting and engrossing book, and an interesting and different take on the Trojan war.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new and improved Troy, July 9 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book because, true to the author's style, it followed the strong female character. But not only that, the vivid imagery brought these well-known characters to life -- with different, far more detailed aspects, and I enjoyed adding these facets to characters I already knew from the Iliad. About 3/4 into the book, I realized that several of the characters are remniscent of Bradley's Mists of Avalon characters. Kassandra is in some ways very like Morgaine, Hecuba like Igraine, Penthesilea like Viviane. This, for me, wasn't at all a drawback to the story. If anything, it made me more comfortable with the characters. While not quite as good as Mists of Avalon, it remains by itself a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the below review, June 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
Please ignore the previous review.
It may not be the Authors best work, but was written BY the Author in 1987.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Cease the madness, June 25 2003
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
Marion Zimmer Bradley was a great author - when she lived. Now, however, 3 1/2 years after her funeral, her "estate" continues to publish "new works" with the real author barely identified. Please stop writing about the woman as if she just wrote what is really only as mediocre book. Might as well have "her" and "Frank Herbert" collaborate with all the fidelity shown to her works while she lived.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I always thought this would make a great movie..., June 12 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Firebrand (Paperback)
Go ahead and read the reviews below. But if you were intrigued by the recent made-for-cable movie retelling the story of Troy's fall from Helen's perspective, you will love this book, told through the eyes of a richly conceived character: Kassandra, the doomed daughter of King Priam. I can only hope that the makers of the upcoming "Troy" movie take a page or two from this retelling...I personally would love to see Brad Pitt's Akhilles fall as he does in "The Firebrand"! As always, MZB manages to turn one of the most traditionally testosterone-driven tales in history into a female-centered but no less thrilling page-turner. Give it a try before you go to the theaters or TV!
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The Firebrand
The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Paperback - May 6 2003)
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