Fiction Sarah Micklem Firethorn

ISBN 13: 9780007203963

Firethorn

3.6 avg rating
( 1,154 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780007203963: Firethorn

A sumptuous love story set in a world as real as history and as marvellous as legend. A foundling child, Luck - named for the colour of her god-favoured copper hair, is fortunate to be taken in by one of the Blood. She remembers little of her past, her parents a vague and teasing memory, but service in the Dame's household is better than that of most mud folk. She is beaten rarely and is fed well, and, under the Dame's watchful eye, Luck is even permitted to learn herb lore. But her comfortable world is turned upside when the old Dame dies, and her nephew arrives to claim his inheritance. Choosing to remain with her friends rather than claim her freedom and strike out alone, Luck's life is calm until her new exotic looks attract the attentions of her new master!

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Review:

A mysterious foundling with unique red hair and strange god-given powers, Firethorn is condemned to life as a powerless servant--or so she believes, until one of King Thyrse's noblemen becomes her lover. But, as she accompanies Sire Galan to war, Firethorn discovers she may have traded one form of bondage for another. A soldier's mistress--even a high-born soldier's mistress--is despised as a "sheath," or camp follower. Also, Firethorn's nasty ex-overlord, Sire Pava, has joined the king's army, and she has made a new enemy in her lover's cousin and closest friend, the sadistic Sire Rodela. However, she and Galan share a fiery love that will surely overcome the opposition of both their personal enemies and their kingdom's enemies. Then Sire Galan makes a strange, heart-shattering wager that may not only ruin his honor, but get them both killed.

Bloody, insightful, emotionally wrenching, and beautifully written, Firethorn is the impressive first volume of an epic fantasy trilogy. It's also an astonishingly assured debut novel that foretells Sarah Micklem's place among authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jacqueline Carey, Terry Goodkind, and Rosemary Sutcliff at the top rank of high fantasists. --Cynthia Ward

From the Inside Flap:

Introducing a mesmerizing debut in the rich tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley-a passionate tale of love and war, honor and vengeance, in which the gods grant a common girl uncommon gifts...
Before she was Firethorn, she was Luck, named for her red hair, favored by the goddess of Chance. A lowborn orphan, Luck is destined to a life of servitude. But when her mistress dies, Luck flees to the forest. There she discovers the sacred firethorn tree, whose berries bring her fevered dreams, a new name-and curious talents. Transformed, she emerges from her exile a young woman with powers beyond her ken.
Firethorn has changed, but her world has not...until one chance encounter alters her destiny forever. In the chaos of the UpsideDown Days, when the highborn and the low trade places, Firethorn couples with Sire Galan, a highborn warrior. Emboldened by desire and her own restlessness, she follows fate and Galan to camp with the king's army. But their unspoken love has no place in a brutal world ruled by caste and violence, and a dark future threatens from the shadows. Living among soldiers, concubines, and wastrels, and faced with a series of tormenting challenges, Firethorn will have to rely on the enigmatic gifts Fate grants her to survive-body and soul.
"A sweeping adventure saga as mystical as it is raw...this hypnotic tale of passion and survival will resonate with sophisticated readers of both sexes."
"-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A great piece of gritty, feminist fiction, distinguished by a heroine whose vulnerabilities and fresh voice as narrator make her easy to love."
"-Booklist (starred review)
"Engrossing, suspenseful and uncompromising...willseduce even reluctant readers."
"-SciFi Weekly, A-pick
"Micklem's majestic and powerful debut, the first volume of a fantasy trilogy, introduces a compelling heroine with a strong, original voice. A sweeping adventure saga as mystical as it is raw, the novel is also a biting commentary on violence and its effect on relationships defined by a caste system. Enriched but not defined by the influences of many cultures (Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, etc.) and authors as diverse as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula K. LeGuin, Mary Renault, Jean Auel, Margaret Atwood and, yes, even Tolkien, this hypnotic tale of passion and survival will resonate with sophisticated readers of both sexes."
"-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Gritty, sinewy, exceptionally well researched, and highly impressive." -"Kirkus Reviews
"A great piece of gritty, feminist fiction, distinguished by a heroine whose vulnerabilities and fresh voice as narrator make her easy to love."
-"Booklist (starred review)
"Engrossing, suspenseful and uncompromising, this is a novel that sets a great story into motion, leaving readers eager for the next chapter....Its story is so complex and compelling that it will seduce even reluctant readers."
-"SciFi Weekly, A- pick
" 'Expect the unexpected' may sound like a stale cliche, but applied to the future volumes of this trilogy, and the future career of Sarah Micklem, it becomes both a lure and a promise." "-Locus, New & Notable Book
"A fully realized world, full of grit and beauty, hungers of every kind, and gods who are either remote or meddlesome. She takes the time to let relationships develop and events unfold, giving us the sense of having lived andloved our way through Firethorn's world. Micklem makes a worthy bid to be ranked with Robin Hobb, Mary Renault, and George R. R. Martin as a brilliant creator of realistic, character-centered fantasy. My only complaint is that the second book isn't out yet." -Orson Scott Card, author of "Ender's Game
"This is a stark and splendid novel. But the most astonishing thing about it is the suppleness of the style-almost no one writes a first novel this graceful. I look forward to whatever she does next." -Robin McKinley, author of "Sunshine

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Sarah Micklem
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Micklem, Sarah
Published by Voyager 2005-04-04 (2005)
ISBN 10: 0007203969 ISBN 13: 9780007203963
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