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Book reviews for "Salmonson,_Jessica_Amanda" sorted by average review score:

Thousand Shrine Warrior
Published in Paperback by Ace Books (1984)
Authors: Jessica Amada Salmonson and Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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This was an incredible book, of an incredible series.
Jessica Amanda Salmonson is one of the two best Fantasy authors I have encountered in my entire, very prolific, reading career.

Thousand Shrine Warrior is the third book in the Tomoe Gozen trilogy (The first two being Tomoe Gozen, and The Golden Naginata, with the currently-in-print Disfavored Hero being the reprint/uncut version of Tomoe Gozen) and it does an unthinkably breathtaking job of continuing the already entrancing series at a height that is as complex, beautiful, and thought-provoking as the first two books.

I got a lot out of this book. Characters in this book affected me, and I have had insights because of this book. Far apart from her brilliance in writing a complex, engrossing, female-positive (at a time when having a female heroine was unthinkable!) fantasy novel set in an exaustively-researched mythological Japan, Salmonson is also an incredible writer in the literary sense as well. I cannot imagine anyone taking the effort to acquire this book and this series and not being esctatic about the decision after reading them. In all sincerity; this author may rekindle your faith in and love for the Fantasy Genre.

The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era
Published in Paperback by Anchor (1992)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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Great read but some historical flaws
As a student of medieval history, I found the book to be valuable in acquainting me with histories of women warriors in early European history. However, I can't forgive Ms. Salmonson for her gross error in the death of Aethelflaed, warrior daughter of Alfred the Great. While Aethelflaed did help her brother drive the Vikings out of England, she most certainly didn't die in combat as alleged by the author. Please read the excellent biograghy, "The Lady Who Fought the Vikings," by Don Stansbury. She did lead her forces but was more known as a peace and treaty maker, and she never fought in combat.

I feel that Ms. Salmonson may have taken literary license with other historical figures so please investigate further any women warriors that interest you. I have my own copy of this book but believe it may have other flaws. Nevertheless, it still is an excellent compendium of women warriors and makes great reading for historians and lovers of fantasy fiction.

A good dictionary to read, not to peruse...
When I was visiting this page, I noticed this book is out-of-print, AGAIN. It should remain so, ever!... Because it is so good that each new edition should be sold completely in advance of coming out of the press... Well, it has minor flaws, like some Latin mispellings. But it is one of the most complete, and synthetic introductions to a number of strong female characters of history and, well... mythology - that's exactly history again, but of times in which there were no written records like Salmonson's to help us know exactly whom did what to whom, when, and why. Mainly warriors, these historical short biographies will let you know - men and women alike - that there is no such thing as a female sex. And will make you to think a lot why the heck you were not told about the strong minded, and bodied... Cleopatras and Arsinoes, before that long-nosed Cleopatra! Yes, indeed, male historians have been keeping things away from you, since you were a little boy or girl. That Ms. Salmonson book be not only a light entertainment for you, for the first in a series of readings on Amazons. There are lots of them in the Net - and I do not mean the XXX files, I mean, the historical ones. END

A stunning revelation of history's missing links . . .
I recently had the good fortune to obtain a copy of this book second-hand, and am finding it an unputdownable, fascinating read. Quite simply, it has to be one of the strongest aids in righting the imbalance of history as it is traditionally recounted. Once the general feeling of astonishment subsides, it becomes an affirmation of the tenacious strength and courage of women. This something that we are all too often encouraged to disown, ignore, and utterly forsake, to the huge detriment of ourselves as *people*, regardless of gender.

Consume this book, and learn to celebrate everything within you that is considered unbecoming, unfeminine, and unseemly. Those are the words of a terrified patriarchal society unable to treat such strength and courage equally, as Ms. Salmonson illustrates for us so well.

I would advise reading 'The Women's History Of The World' by Rosalind Miles after this; I suspect the reader would then be left with a flaming indignance and anger about the current state of womankind . . .

So, obtain a copy of this wonderful book by any means possible - treasure it; and openly applaude those women today who live by their own truths, strengths, and convictions, and who kick society's apple-cart over in doing so - more of it, I say!

Tomoe Gozen
Published in Paperback by Ace Books (1984)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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A fascinating, if confusing story.
Tomoe Gozen travels through fictional Naipon with all theinevitability of Conan in a really bad mood. Swinging two samuraiswords, there is no opponent she can't out-fight, even to the point of conquering a whole army single-handed! The story is often confusing, with scenes taking on the feel of a dreamscape.

That said, the story has a charm that kept drawing me back to it. The author transports the reader to her world, immersing them in its rich distinctiveness. If you are interested in a high-fantasy story, set in an Oriental setting, then I would recommend this book to you. (I just wouldn't be able to give you a summary of the storyline.)

Fighting her way back to honor and glory
Salmonson writes of an alternate world, Naipon, using her knowledge of Japanese culture and traditions. As a woman, Tomoe Gozen, the heroine of this tale, is an unusual samurai warrior. The differences between her and other samurai go beyond her sex, however.

When Tomoe Gozen dies in battle, serving the great warlord to whom she is pledged, her good friend Ushii makes a deal with an evil magician: Bring her back to the land of the living and he will serve the magician, the enemy of the warlord. Little does he know that the deal also means that his friend will not only end up losing herself, but she will also have to serve the same evil lord. When she finally comes to herself, Ushii is doomed, and she leaves to wander the country as an unpledged warrior or ronin. During her travels she experiences many adventures through which she regains both her honor and her place at the side of the daughter of the now dead warlord she had once served.

It becomes Tomeoe Gozen's duty to regain her mistress' inheritance. In doing so, she can enhance her own reputation and further redeem her honor.

The battle scenes are quite vivid. Although the overall writing style may be somewhat passive for some of today's readers, the story is well worth any needed effort. Salmonson brings samurai and Naiponese culture to life and gives the reader insight into those cultures as well as a good story.

There are three novels featuring Tomoe Gozen, of which this is the first. Readers who enjoy these would also enjoy Salmonson's "The Swordswoman." Readers who like strong female characters might also enjoy "Deathweave" and "Darkloom" by Cary Osborne or "Winter Queen" by Devin Cary.

fantastic magical far eastern samuri tale
Part of a trilogy. Female samuri Tomoe must face a series of challenges both physical and personal. Magical writing with a clear love of the subject and the fairytale idiom. An all time favourite with me.

The Golden Naginata
Published in Paperback by Ace Books (1987)
Authors: Jesica Salmonson, Tomoe Gozen, and Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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A Student of Modern Day Naginata - Australia
A rare and beautiful adventure of a warrior in a world of Japanese goblins, samurai's and a truly glorious weapon that Jescia Salmonson has written in The Golden Naginata.
I treasure this Japanese fantasy, it's the most colourful fantasy adventure I've entered. It's one of those books that will remain on my shelf for years to come.

The Golden Naginata
This is a delightful and thoughtful story set in the mythic world of Naipon where the myths and dreams of the Japanese are real. The story is about the woman warrior Tomoe Gozen and how she came to wield the wonderful sword called the Golden Naginata. This book is the second in the series - a compelling story - I enjoyed being immersed in another time and another way of life.

Published in Paperback by Tor Books (1988)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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interesting start to a possibly excellent series
I first read this book when it was new in 1988. The characters were well thought out and the plot line was engaging. The author however left us hanging. What happened to Valk the Ear? Did she return and get him? At the end of the book the author promotes a second book but none was ever written to my knowledge. Ms. Salmonson if you are out there please finish this tale.

Wisewomen and Boggyboos: A Dictionary of Lesbian Fairy Lore
Published in Paperback by Banned Books (1993)
Authors: Jessica Amanda Salmonson and Jules Remedios Faye
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It reminds me of a Lesbian _Old Possum's 'Practical Cats_
It's a bit unnerving to me, but apparently it's fairly standard, when writing books cataloguing the faerie, to be fanciful and creative, and to rely mostly on one's own imagination--as opposed to folklore, ancient reference books, and dissections. I've looked in many books, most especially those by Froud, and that's the accepted theme, which is borne out in this book.

I personally believe Jessica Amanda Salmonson is one of the two greatest and most sophisticated authors of Fantasy of all time, but she was also very much involved in the pro-female revolutions not so many decades ago. A little research into the author both on the web and through reading what books you are fortunate enough to find (mostly used) will, I think, convince any other educated^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HLiberal reader similarly. In this book, the lesbian is inextricable from the faerie, and the reading of the book's many and sometimes whimsical entries (no illustrations; this book long predates the conventional faerie books with graphical renditions being the focus) gives the insight into the attitudes of the author that frequently require sophisticated poetry or prose for conveyance. I kept this book around and read it like I read my poetry books, and I felt it was just as rewarding. I would not recommend it to someone who is not enthusiastic about supporting gay rights, or to someone who would get bored reading Grimm's Fairy Tales before finishing two.

Phantom Waters: Northwest Legends of Rivers, Lakes, and Shores
Published in Paperback by Sasquatch Books (1996)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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Phantom theme
This is a relatively nice collection of short stories from the Pacific Northwest, from Native American myths to more recent legends. On their own, most of the stories are interesting, with a few that are really captivating and compelling. However, since Salmonson took the literary license to re-work most of them, she could have done a better job in creating some kind of common tread between them all. Thus, the book is a bit dissappointing. The most interesting part are the notes and commentaries at the end which provide some background on the various myths and legends Salmonson used to write the book.

What Did Miss Darrington See?: An Anthology of Feminist Supernatural Fiction
Published in Hardcover by The Feminist Press at CUNY (1989)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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Feminist Supernatural Fiction from the 1850s to the Present
Salmonson selects twenty-four supernatural stories written by women over the past 150 years. Many of these selections focus on a woman protagonist who, contrary to stereotype, keeps her head when confronted with fantastic sightings and happenings. For instance, in Lady Eleanor Smith's 1932 tale "Tamar," pits a gypsy woman against the devil himself. The more recent "A Friend in Need" addresses the issues of child abuse and the support women can offer other women without becoming pedagogical. Instead, the issues are woven into a tale of what seems to be an imaginary childhood friendship.

"What Did Miss Darrington See?" should be read by all connoisseurs of supernatural and science fiction as well as by anyone researching feminist literature.

Anthony Shriek or Lovers from a Darker Realm
Published in Paperback by Dell Pub Co (1992)
Author: Jessica Amanda Salmonson
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Gets bogged down in weirdness
Anthony Shriek, a college student and artist, has overcome his horrendous childhood mainly by putting it out of his mind. One day as he is quietly studying in the library a seductive woman named Emily picks him up and his life is forever changed. She claims he is a demon, as is she, which is why she is attracted to him. Her arrival reawakens his suppressed memories and opens up a dream-like world called Nightland where Anthony is forced to deal with strange, twisted versions of his past. As his love for Emily grows in intensity the more he fears he is losing his mind.

Anthony is a very sympathetic character. He's lives quietly and has survived life on the streets and has somehow managed to rise above his horrid beginnings and is attending college. He's a survivor but once he meets Emily the reader realizes just how close to edge of insanity he really is. His heart-breaking past was revealed in little bits in pieces with just enough information to make me want to keep reading. I really felt for Anthony but had a bit of a problem with Emily who I never really got a handle on, which may have been the author's intent. While the reader learns everything about Anthony very little about Emily is revealed and I found her dialogue so stilted that it continually threw me out of the story. Although most of the story was compelling and made me keep turning the pages there were too many times when the book wandered off on odd tangents - these were mostly times spent with Emily looking for a frog fountain, kung-fu fighting off dirty old teachers or having pow-wows with her Indian friends. They added a surreal sense to the book but didn't do much to advance the plot. Or maybe I just didn't get it. So, although Anthony was an interesting character and the book had plenty of horrific moments I can't wholeheartedly recommend this one.

Lady Ferry and Other Uncanny People
Published in Hardcover by Ash-Tree Press (23 October, 1998)
Authors: Sarah Orne Jewett, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, and Deborah McMillion-Nering
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