mercredi 16 avril 2014

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

The young men completed their training row in record time.

All her life, Diana Morgan has been obsessed with Amazons. Told stories of these empowered female warriors by her grandmother when she was a child, she has devoted her career to proving that they actually existed. Dismissed by many as a deluded fool, Diana jumps at the opportunity that is presented to her by a strange old man who claims to need her assistance at an archaeological dig that may just prove all of her theories. What she discovers, though, will take her on a journey from Algeria to Greece to Turkey to the far north on a quest that includes bronze bracelets, a secret society and the truth about the Trojan War...

Although the cover for The Lost Sisterhood did not really catch my attention, when I read the blurb describing Amazons, Troy and a quest that spans the globe, I couldn't resist giving it a go. And boy am I glad that I did! Combining historical fiction and a thriller-type quest, The Lost Sisterhood is a sprawling novel set in two time frames and filled with great twists and exciting set pieces.
The modern part of the novel follows Diana Morgan as she chases clues left behind for her by her grandmother across the world in search of the 'real' Amazons. Caught in the middle between two powerful men - each with their own reasons for trying to find the mythical warrior women - Diana must stay one step ahead of them at all times, with the help and support of Rebecca, her best friend from childhood, now an archaeologist, and Nick, the obligatory love interest, a man who is at first antipathic to her and her quest but gradually becomes an ally and more. The love story between the two, while well done, was the least interesting part of the novel to me, mainly because the thawing out between the two of them did not strike me as all that realistic based on what happens to them.

Where the novel excels, though, is in the historical part of the story. Following two young women from the deserts of modern-day Algeria, this section of the book - with chapters interspersed with the modern-day ones - combines what little is known about the Amazons from ancient sources with a masterful retelling of a number of ancient myths and legends, primarily the fall of Troy and the Trojan War. Fortier does a fantastic job of reinventing all of these stories and characters, giving them a new twist. What she does with Paris and the story of Helen was especially well done.

I found the beginning of the love story between Myrina and Paris to be slightly more believable than that between Diana and Nick, although the way it develops caused me problems. Myrina's willingness to - at first - take on a more submissive role in the relationship grated with her personality as seen up until then, and yet Fortier was able to make sense of it as the story progressed and bring Myrina back to the strong female character she had been in the earlier chapters.

The Lost Sisterhood does a great job of combining historical fiction and a modern thriller, bringing some neat twists to age-old stories and reinventing them for a new audience. Overall the female characters are worthy of the subject matter - each one of them is an Amazon in her own right, although the love stories for both main characters tarnish that slightly by taking away some of their freedom and power. Still, a fantastic read and I will be looking out for the next book Anne Fortier may write. I gave The Lost Sisterhood 4 bronze bracelets out of 5.

Buy It For Kindle
Author's Website

From the Blogosphere:
Tangled in Pages
Historical Novels Review

From the Author's Mouth:
Video Interview on the Author's Website

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