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Frostflower and Thorn Paperback – December 1, 1980

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The hot-tempered, impulsive swordswoman Thorn has gotten pregnant. The gentle, celibate sorceress Frostflower wants a child, and can bring a baby from conception to birth in an afternoon. Though the pacifistic sorcerers are feared and hated outside their mysterious mountain retreats, Frostflower persuades the suspicious warrior to let her magick the baby to term. But when the sorceress's actions arouse the wrath of the ruling priests, Frostflower and Thorn find themselves outlaws under a death sentence.

Wildside Press is performing a great service by reprinting obscure or hard-to-find works of fantasy, science fiction, and adventure from authors like H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and Sax Rohmer. But Wildside may be performing an even greater service by reprinting the equally deserving works of less famous authors. One writer receiving a well-deserved revival is Phyllis Ann Karr. As of 2000, Wildside had reprinted four of her fantasy novels: Frostflower and Thorn, Frostflower and Windbourne, At Amberleaf Fair, and The Idylls of the Queen. The heroic-fantasy Frostflower and Thorn series is well written, complex, and thoughtful, and never descends to cliché. You will find no simple villainies here, no quests for some superpowered sword or amulet. This is no standard high-fantasy realm of kings and knights and dark lords, and its culture is very different from ours, so much so that certain events and behaviors in Frostflower and Thorn will deeply disturb some readers, although they are believable consequences of this world's societies. --Cynthia Ward

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Borgo Press (December 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587150131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587150135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,733,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first encountered the characters Frostflower and the swordlady Thorn in Marion Zimmer Bradley's first Sword and Sorceress anthology -- FROSTFLOWER AND THORN introduces the duo and their world, where the peaceful sorcerons are despised by the general populace. The two title characters are polar opposites, thrown together by chance meeting, and kept together by their growing friendship through the dangers of the Tanglelands, the scheming of the Farmer-Priests, and the suspicions of the world-at-large. Frostflower is the peaceful sorceress, who wouldn't dream of harming anyone -- for to do so would be to lose her sorceress powers! And Thorn is the tough, gritty warrior who wouldn't think twice to run someone through, especially when her life is on the line! This is a very entertaining read, in a world that's very different from what one normally finds in today's fantasy novels.
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Format: Paperback
Wow, I was floored by this book. It is not your standard fantasy romp. The system of magic is unique and very interesting. Character development is thorough. The action is intense. A great read.
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Format: Paperback
The best part of this book is the world. Karr really thought it out- the social classes, the magical systems, the theologies, and the economics. It's basically a spin on feudal, but with the towns more independent. The prejudice against the sorcerers is rampant, partly because their theology differs from most (most are polytheists; the sorcerers are monotheists), and because of their power. The sorcerers are feared, even though they are utterly non-violent.

The sex/gender egalitarianism is also a surprise. ALL the soldiers are women; men are not seen as suited to that lifestyle... and soldiers have a social status higher than that of merchants, etc.

So- the world is fascinating, and well-worth visiting.

The characters are distinctly drawn, sometimes in an exaggerated way, espeically with the swordswomen. The plot hinges on choices various well-described characters make.

I'm giving it a 4, though, because some of the violence, and the carefully described tortures, were shocking. OK, maybe that's a good thing... but it's not necessarily what I want to read unless I'm pre-warned.

Also, some of the action got repetitive. Escape from the pursuers kept going around in circles, and it felt stuck. Eventually things resolved... but only after a LOT of static circling. Karr tried to raise the stakes each time, and did- but it still felt static to me.

It's worth reading for the world, if you are prepared for the ugliness. (The ugliness was not exactly gratuitous, but I'm not convinced so much of it was necesary, either.)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was the first fantasy novel I ever read, back in the eighties. I often think of it, because the plot line and characters are so atypical. I'm so glad it's now available on kindle.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this in the early 80's, loved the adventure. Lost it! Saw it in Amazon and bought it to read again!
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