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The Firebrand Blending archaeological fact and legend, the myths of the gods and the feats of heroes, Marion Zimmer Bradley breathes new life into the classic tale of the Trojan War reinventing larger than life figures as living people engaged in a desperate struggle that dooms both the victors and the vanquished, their fate seen through the eyes of Kassandra priestess, princess, and passionate woman with the spirit of a warrior


10 thoughts on “The Firebrand

  1. says:

    Sometimes I think this star system is faulty I gave this book five stars because I absolutely adore it and have read it 8329432423 times, but I m not sure it s actually that good All I know is that as a classical history nut who spent all her college years and two post grad years studying ancient history, i go all heart eyes for this book it s the Trojan War told through the eyes of the women, and i love it because my favorite characters have always been the women Kassandra, Andromache Sometimes I think this star system is faulty I gave this book five stars because I absolutely adore it and have read it 8329432423 times, but I m not sure it s actually that good All I know is that as a classical history nut who spent all her college years and two post grad years studying ancient history, i go all heart eyes for this book it s the Trojan War told through the eyes of the women, and i love it because my favorite characters have always been the women Kassandra, Andromache, Helen, Klytemnestra It s riddled with ridiculous things, matriarchies that don t exist and seemingly anachronistic goddess religions that smack of the Mists of Avalon, but I don t care I love every single word of it, and I ll probably read it 8329432423times


  2. says:

    I first read Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Firebrand many years ago, and have just finished the latest of many re reads of this epic novel of the Trojan War.As with her famous Mists of Avalon which told the story of Arthur and Camelot from the perspective of the women in the story, so too does The Firebrand cover this famous Bronze Age tale from the point of view of the principle females involved.Most specifically this is Kassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy and Queen Hecuba, sister of Pr I first read Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Firebrand many years ago, and have just finished the latest of many re reads of this epic novel of the Trojan War.As with her famous Mists of Avalon which told the story of Arthur and Camelot from the perspective of the women in the story, so too does The Firebrand cover this famous Bronze Age tale from the point of view of the principle females involved.Most specifically this is Kassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy and Queen Hecuba, sister of Prince Hector and twin of Paris, of whose death it is foretold he will bring about the downfall of the city.Kassandra, too, grows into a prophetess, but it is her misfortune to be disbelieved and considered a bird of ill omen of whom others take little notice.For a time she goes to live and train with her kinswoman, Penthesilea, leader of the s of the plains, and, on returning to Troy a strong young woman, becomes a priestess of the gold Apollo.Kassandra herself if fated to play a vital role in the siege of Troy, but not to succumb when the city falls But what lies for her beyond the destruction of all she holds dear, and the death of most of her loved ones, may be even worse than death itself.I loved this novel when I first read it, and on subsequent readings found it still held me fascinated by the amount of research Bradley had worked into the well known story as related by Homer in the Iliad and other, later, classical tales that expounded on the legend If, on visiting Troy, I found a site that seemed too small and confined for the bold, colourful canvas of Bradley s tale, I have since revised those views as subsequent archaeological discoveries have revealed the fabled city to be muchakin to the legends than was previously believed.Anyone who loves historical novels, specifically those of ancient history, and especially those of Mary Renault, will love The Firebrand As I said at the beginning of this review, I have re read it many times, and will doubtless do so again.Kerry Hennigan August, 2011


  3. says:

    I had a really hard time getting through this book Which was surprising to me for two reasons First, I loved Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Mists of Avalon, and second, I love the legend of the Trojan War and have read numerous other books on the subject and Cassandra has always been an intriguing character for me So, when I picked up this book, I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it.Sadly however, I was left disappointed Now don t get me wrong, the ancient world that Zimmer Bradley create I had a really hard time getting through this book Which was surprising to me for two reasons First, I loved Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Mists of Avalon, and second, I love the legend of the Trojan War and have read numerous other books on the subject and Cassandra has always been an intriguing character for me So, when I picked up this book, I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it.Sadly however, I was left disappointed Now don t get me wrong, the ancient world that Zimmer Bradley creates is as detailed and vivid as ever But, though the scenery and spiritual rituals were vibrant, I found the characters rather wooden There was little character development and I simply didn t feel the emotion most of the time I found myself willing myself to read, just for the sake of finishing it rather than out of interest.The few characters I did love,Penthesilea and Andromache, were not seen often enough for my taste in the 600 pages of the novel, and the characters I found trying were there too much.I liked Kassandra well enough, but at certain times she really vexed me One such time is when she accused Andromache in her head of not really mourning Hector, but rather her loss of station That was just too much for me Especially when they are supposed to be dear friends.It was the ending of the book that really lowered my opinion After spending so much time expanding the story, I felt that the ending was incredibly rushed and definitely not given its due.The epilogue especially, was just, well odd While I admire the author s attempt to incorporate the information from the rediscovered tablet, written by someone claiming to be descendant from Kassandra of Troy that part of the story would have benefited fromexplanation To me, the way it was tacked on at the end, cheapens it, as well as the entire story that came before it.The novel is well written and possesses good material, but on the whole, for a 600 page tome, it seemed to me rather empty


  4. says:

    Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Firebrand is an excellent book, and one that I look forward to rereading again at some point in time This novel, at just over 600 pages, tells the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of Kassandra the Prophetess, one of the daughters of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy Zimmer Bradley does a terrific job of incorporating the commonly accepted mythological elements of all of the major characters in the novel, including several of the gods and godde Marion Zimmer Bradley s The Firebrand is an excellent book, and one that I look forward to rereading again at some point in time This novel, at just over 600 pages, tells the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of Kassandra the Prophetess, one of the daughters of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy Zimmer Bradley does a terrific job of incorporating the commonly accepted mythological elements of all of the major characters in the novel, including several of the gods and goddesses, e.g., Apollo, Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, Poseidon, and even the great Earth Mother herself I have to say that I was quite intrigued with Zimmer Bradley s character development of the great Achaean warrior, Akilles, and the portrayal of his rage , which is the subject of Homer s epic poem, The Iliad Zimmer Bradley may be closer to the truth of the matter with Akilles than that generally thought, but I ll leave the reader to form their own opinions.While the novel is clearly intended to be read for its fantasy entertainment value, there is also the intriguing thread of cultural anthropology woven throughout that causes the reader to at least consider the differences between the matriarchal societies of some earlier Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures and the inexorable establishment of thewidespread patriarchal system in the Bronze and Iron Ages For example, she explores this in a social context through the roles of Priam, Hecuba, and even theleader, Penthesilea as well as through the role that religion and religious beliefs played with the Trojans, Achaeans, and other tribes and peoples encountered in the novel It might be easy to just attribute this to Zimmer Bradley s brand of literary feminism, but I personally choose to think that she is really trying to remind us of the Myth of the Goddess, and that the balance of female and male in our own psyche is important even now Zimmer Bradley s portrayal of Kassandra in telling this story is compelling and thought provoking Frankly, I enjoyed this novel eventhan her wildly popular The Mists of Avalon This was a well written story and a real page turner from start to finish


  5. says:

    This was very entertaining I enjoyed seeing the siege of Troy from the other side, inside the walls and from a woman s point of view But the way Achilles was portrayed was a travesty I felt This is like a Danielle Steele type of take on the Ilad Every character served its purpose but the grandeur I craved from reading Renault or Miller wasn t at the rendez vous.Over all, original in its perspective but definitely not a classic for me


  6. says:

    The Firebrand is the the story of the Trojan War told from the perspective of Kassandra Kassandra is a princess of troy who has the gift of prophecy but the curse that she is never believed I loved the spin that Bradley put on the famous story and its characters I like how she was able to have fantasy elements, such as the Gods being real with the ability to take over a person s body when they want to directly influence events and Kassandra s true visions, yet she made some other aspects of t The Firebrand is the the story of the Trojan War told from the perspective of Kassandra Kassandra is a princess of troy who has the gift of prophecy but the curse that she is never believed I loved the spin that Bradley put on the famous story and its characters I like how she was able to have fantasy elements, such as the Gods being real with the ability to take over a person s body when they want to directly influence events and Kassandra s true visions, yet she made some other aspects of the mythologygrounded in reality For example, the Kentaurs were not really half man half horse They were tribes of men that rode the plains on horses Since they almost never got off their horses, their legs were bowed and the color of their skin matched that of the horses people often mistook them as being part one entity Like many of Bradley s novels, this one had a feminist take on events Kassandra often wishes she could live with the s or in Colchis where the city is ruled by queens instead of a society where women are slaves to their husbands The story did drag a little in the middle for me, knowing the story and the fate of Troy, I began to tire of reading about the siege and was ready for the horse to appear I definitely would recommend this book to others interested in a retelling of the Fall of Troy


  7. says:

    I read this some years after The Mists of Avalon I gobbled it up avidly enough, but it must be admitted that it was basically The Mists of Avalon in a Hellenic setting I could easily recognise the personalities of Viviane in Queen Penthiselea, Morgaine in Kassandra, and to some extent, Queen Morgause in Queen Imandra of Colchis Probably my favourite part of the book, was the time Kassandra spends at Queen Imandra s court when she is inducted into the cult of Serpant Mother , which I assumed I read this some years after The Mists of Avalon I gobbled it up avidly enough, but it must be admitted that it was basically The Mists of Avalon in a Hellenic setting I could easily recognise the personalities of Viviane in Queen Penthiselea, Morgaine in Kassandra, and to some extent, Queen Morgause in Queen Imandra of Colchis Probably my favourite part of the book, was the time Kassandra spends at Queen Imandra s court when she is inducted into the cult of Serpant Mother , which I assumed was Hecate, the Goddess of the witches, although Bradley never specifically mentions Hecate s name My first introduction to the Greek Myths, or ancient Hellenic beliefs , was through the Mythic Tarot deck which had been a favourite for years This book did fill out some of my knowledge, and impelled me to study the subjectseriously I did find the Prophetess, Kassandra s constant mental convulsions a little vexing at times Her constant crisis of faith, and self blame was a little hard to take at times You d think pagans would be less guilt ridden, however the book did inspire me, and precipitated several fantasies in my head where I thought I d been transported to the ancient middle east I m not even sure if the original locations of Troy and Colchis have been established, but Bradley made them real and vivid for me


  8. says:

    This hook is written from the perspective of Kassandra, and shows a Trojan war from the female point of view, a terrible and avoidable catastrophe leading to degradation and mass slaughter, rape and the destruction of innoents.Hector and the other warriers are deluded in their male notions of honour and glory, Agamemnon a brutal destroyer, Akhillesor less a psychopath, finally toppled by the death of Patrokoles into madness,capable finally of a terrible act of necrophylia Of the women, He This hook is written from the perspective of Kassandra, and shows a Trojan war from the female point of view, a terrible and avoidable catastrophe leading to degradation and mass slaughter, rape and the destruction of innoents.Hector and the other warriers are deluded in their male notions of honour and glory, Agamemnon a brutal destroyer, Akhillesor less a psychopath, finally toppled by the death of Patrokoles into madness,capable finally of a terrible act of necrophylia Of the women, Helen is a Queen in her own right exercising her right to the consort of her choice, Hecuba a formerwho has lost her self respect in accepting marriage to the patriarch King Priam, Andromache a happy, conventional young wife who doesn t want to lose her warrior husband, Brieses a born victim, while Kassandra is a Priestess, trained as an , who finds love with her brother in law Aneus and who knows how male power not balanced by female must lead to disaster While I had some criticism regarding style, I thought this an excellent take on the story of the Siege of Troy


  9. says:

    Aaaand after almost a year, I m finally done with this book This book has a slow slow pace and follows Kassandra from childhood through to what happens to her after the fall of Troy spoilers, Troy falls A very fascinating and fictional take on the world and characters, with different systems of worship, different Gods and Goddesses, different styles of rule with patriarchies and matriarchies Overall, an interesting and slowww read, but not a particularly thrilling one view spoiler O Aaaand after almost a year, I m finally done with this book This book has a slow slow pace and follows Kassandra from childhood through to what happens to her after the fall of Troy spoilers, Troy falls A very fascinating and fictional take on the world and characters, with different systems of worship, different Gods and Goddesses, different styles of rule with patriarchies and matriarchies Overall, an interesting and slowww read, but not a particularly thrilling one view spoiler One thing I don t understand In the latter half of the book, Kassandra loses faith in the Gods and Goddesses, but she still refuses to leave Troy despite knowing that it will fall, and despite having several opportunities to leave She says she stays because the Gods Goddesses bid her stay, but why would she listen to them after she loses faith Just something else I noticed the phrase not unkindly was used very frequently to describe voice or actions hide spoiler


  10. says:

    I have read some other books by Marion Zimmer Bradley and I just love her books This one is no exception Loved it, loved it Some parts broke my heart and some parts made me smile Cassandra was inspiring, her strength and determination Definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Greek myths and history because even though it s a fictional work it s simply amazing and captivating Re read during April 2019 Still loving it


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