This is not a typical Marion Zimmer Bradley novel. This book is the result of a bet between Marion and Don Wollheim, her editor for the Darkover novels at DAW Books. In addition, it's her response to the Gor novels - where men were men and women were slaves - that were also being published by DAW Books. Yes, this book does start out with a heroine who has been captured and is being sold as a slave, who has amnesia and remembers nothing of her life before the trip across the desert with the slavers - and, due to a head injury, remembers mercifully little of that. But she does know that she would rather fight in the arena than be a harlot for the men who do, and that choice changes the rest of the book. In a Gor-style novel the woman would become less her own person, eventually learning to be a contented and obedient slave. In this book, even while the heroine, called Zadieyek of Gyre, remains a slave, she is something quite different from the typical "slave girl" - she grows and develops, always searching for her memory and her past, convinced that this is not how her life is supposed to be. And, of course, she's right.
©1985-2069 Marion Zimmer Bradley (P)2014 Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust
Yes, entertaining story about cultural traditions and celebration of women's strength and femininity
I would re-write the ending. The ending was disappointing and lacked reference to the rest of the story line, it felt rushed and removed from the rest of the story.
No, because I was so disappointed with the ending that I do not care for what would happen next for the main character.
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