Gods’ Concubine: OK, now I’m hooked

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Sara Douglass The Troy Game God's ConcubineGods’ Concubine by Sara Douglass

I bought the previous book in this series, Hades’ Daughter, because it was based loosely on Greek and British myth. I shelved it for a long time because I hated the characters. I finally, reluctantly, read it again, because I was still interested in its storyline — and realized that despite the characters, I did like the book.

And then I devoured Gods’ Concubine in two days, and can’t wait until the third installment, which is supposed to take place during the Restoration period.

Gods’ Concubine is better than its predecessor. First of all, the plot is more complex. It’s less all-battles-all-the-time and has a lot more plotting and politics in it. And secondly, more importantly, the characters are developing splendidly!

Brutus has been reborn this time as William the Conqueror, and his feisty wife Matilda is doing her best to tame him into a decent husband. Coel is his noble rival, Harold Godwineson, and he is wed to Swanne, who is none other than Genvissa reborn. Cornelia, who remembers nothing of her past, is Caela, neglected wife of Edward the Confessor, and sister to Harold. Brutus/William is becoming kinder and growing a little bit of common sense. Cornelia/Caela is developing a backbone. And Genvissa/Swanne is becoming weaker and more vulnerable. All the while, Asterion waits and watches, hidden behind the mask of one of Edward’s courtiers, his true identity unknown.

With their lusts and machinations, their struggles and games, these people will shape history. And I, for one, will be reading on.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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