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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.
Used price: $19.95
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.
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!
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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.)
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.
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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.
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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.
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"What Did Miss Darrington See?" should be read by all connoisseurs of supernatural and science fiction as well as by anyone researching feminist literature.
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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.
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