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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Firethorn - Sarah Micklem

Read for the Once Upon a Time IX Reading Challenge.

Firethorn had grown up as the servant of a woman of the Blood, but when the Dame died, and her nephew inherited her property, Firethorn fled to the King’s Forest, where she lived for a year.    In that time, she was forced to eat the fruit of the firethorn tree, which nearly killed her, but earned her the touch of the gods.    
After returning to her home, she caught the eye of Sire Galan, a knight on the way to gather with the army of the king.     He asks her to go with him, and she agrees, not realizing the situations she’ll find herself in, and how terrible war can be.

Having finally finished this, I have to say, this isn’t really a fantasy novel – there’s a different system of gods, and some mystical experiences, but no more than you’d find in any story set on the medieval times of our actual history.      What you have instead is a story of women caught up in a medieval idea of war, struggling to make sense of things, and figure out a way to make a life for themselves.    

The book is gritty.    It’s not any sort of pleasant life, at all.   But it’s realistic, and though it’s still terrible (in ways that you’d expect if you read A Game of Thrones), it felt like an honest portrayal of a woman’s experience.       I’m still not sure that I really fundamentally liked it (there’s apparently a sequel that I’m not sure I want to read), but it has definitely made me think.

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