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The Lost Sisterhood: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 11, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fortier (Juliet, 2010), offers a creative retelling of another legendary story. Diana Morgan is a statuesque young professor at Oxford who believes that Amazons actually existed, with good reason: her grandmother claimed to be one. When Diana gets an offer from a mysterious man who claims he has proof of the Amazons’ existence, she takes off for North Africa and a hidden underground temple that boasts an inscription written in the Amazon language. Diana translates the inscription, but it proves to be just the beginning of a journey that will be fraught with danger. Intercut with Diana’s adventures are those of Myrina, a female warrior turned priestess from the Late Bronze Age, who goes on a quest to rescue her sisters from a group of brutal Greeks. Her search brings her into the orbit of the handsome Trojan prince, Paris, in whom she finds an ally and more. Fortier’s imaginative retelling of the Trojan war is even more involving than Diana’s exciting, dangerous quest to uncover the truth about both past and present-day Amazons. --Kristine Huntley

Review

“Impossible to put down . . . Meticulous research, a delicious mystery, and characters that leap from the story make this brilliant book a Perfect 10.”Romance Reviews Today
 
“Anne Fortier tells two tales of adventure, mystery and romance . . . reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code with a hint of A Discovery of Witches.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star
 
“Boldly original . . . will intrigue lovers of ancient worlds as well as those who are just fans of a good story.”Bookreporter
 
“A gorgeous journey from England to North Africa to Greece, thrilling readers with beautiful settings, courageous women and breathtaking adventure.”BookPage
 
“Grounded in a thorough knowledge of classical literature, this skillful interweaving of plausible archaeological speculation, ancient mythology, and exciting modern adventure will delight fans of such authors as Kate Mosse and Katherine Neville.”Library Journal (starred review)

The Lost Sisterhood is a spellbinding adventure, a tale of two courageous women separated by millennia but pursuing interwoven quests: one to protect and lead her sisters through a dangerous ancient world, the other to prove that the legendary tribe of women truly existed, and that their legacy endures.”—Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and The Spymistress
 
“Magical, ambitious, and riveting, The Lost Sisterhood blends past and present to bring the myth of the ancient Amazons to life. Sweeping from the deserts of Algeria to the ruins of Troy to the far frozen reaches of Finland, Anne Fortier’s tale of a young Oxford academic sent on a mysterious quest is a masterly combination of fast-paced adventure and grand epic. I devoured this book, staying up late many a night to reach its pulse-pounding conclusion.”—Kim Fay, author of The Map of Lost Memories

“Anne Fortier’s boldly imaginative and beautifully plotted novel takes us on a spellbinding journey from the halls of Oxford to the ruins of Troy, with a mysterious journal leading the way to a fascinating history. The Lost Sisterhood connects wonderfully smart and strong sisters of the present and the past in a story I won’t soon forget.”—Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Daughters
 
The Lost Sisterhood is a bright, burning, magnificent accomplishment. Compulsively readable, mystical and heroic, this is a novel that will capture your interest, your imagination, and your heart. The compelling characters, beautifully rendered settings, and fascinating and original history are well served by the creativity with which Fortier blends them in this truly amazing story.”—M. J. Rose, author of The Book of Lost Fragrances
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345536223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345536228
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lisa H on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
WOW! I scarcely know where to begin with this review - just WOW! This book has it all - adventure, intrigue, romance, exotic locales, strong female characters, amazing historical detail, ancient mythology, and Amazons, yes, Amazons! Even though I read Fortier's first novel, Juliet, and loved it, I was slightly nervous when I first noticed the length of this book...but I shouldn't have been! This is a big book at 608 pages, but it kept me utterly captivated throughout every single page. The author grabbed my attention with the prologue and never let go until the very last word.

The story is told in parallel timelines - one ancient and one contemporary - each with its own strong and engaging female lead character. This type of storytelling can be difficult to pull off, but when done well it is one of my favorites to read. I am pleased to say that Fortier manages it masterfully, and the tale moves seamlessly from one timeline to the other. I found both storylines equally compelling (which often isn't the case), and with each switch I was eager to catch up with the characters being featured. Fortier interweaves the two tales perfectly, as whenever a `discovery' is made in the modern story it is also explored and explained in the context of the Bronze Age timeline. Locations are shadowed, as well, as the modern adventurers trace the movements of the ancient Amazon women in an attempt to discover their final destination.

The mysteries keep you guessing, allowing you to discern just enough to keep you engaged, while still withholding secrets to surprise you as the tale unfolds. The romances develop over time and are not overdone. Myrina's relationship in the past timeline is particularly charming.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Told in a double narrative, current day Diana and long ago Marina, this is a story about Amazons. More than that, it’s a story about love, history, and understanding who you are.

While Diana’s narrative was fun and exciting, it was Marina’s story that sucked me in. The adventures she embarked on in long ago Greece were intriguing. I love the retelling of Troy and the hints of Amazon influence in that, and other, well known myths.

The modern narrative felt a bit like a Dan Brown search. Hopping from place to place, following artifacts with bad guys chasing, the adventure was exciting, but a tad predictable. The romance was sweet, but a bit unnecessary as it took a back seat to the everything else.

Overall, this was interesting take on Amazon mythology. The highlight was definitely the historical narrative, but the entire story sucked me in enough that the pages flew by.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sires on April 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Maybe I should have skipped this one and read her first English lnaguage novel, Juliet. Or maybe I would have had the same reaction given the raves that Juliet has received. Having one's expectations raised too high by a lot of rave reviews can cause greater disappointment when one's subjective experience does not equal what it feels like it should have been. It's one reason I avoid books with truckloads of five star reviews.

This is a book with two storylines. One involves the present day in which a female scholar named Diana is searching for the treasure of the Amazons. The second involves the history of the Amazons, as told from the viewpoint of Myrina, an Amazon who has set off to rescue her sisters who had been kidnapped by Bronze Age Agean pirates.

I didn't find the contemporary story line nearly as interesting as the historical story of Myrina and her fellow Amazons. The thesis of the contemporary story line was one that became popular in the 1960's and 70's and I've seen it reworked several times over the decades since so maybe I'm a bit jaded when another female scholar sets out to prove that the Amazons were historical.

I'm not sorry I read this book but I think I expected too much from it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn May VINE VOICE on May 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is worth the read especially for the historical narrative of the
Amazon protagonist who is strong and a multifaceted character who
is thrown from one mishap into another which is pretty believable
considering the time line.

The modern protagonist is not nearly as intriguing and the story line
is often weak and predictable. The romance that was added to this
segment only weakens the story line more and I found the focus muddied
and a bit boring.

I just felt as if the author didn't really dig deeply enough into her own abilities
and it really comes through in the shallowness of her modern character that having
had such very difficult childhood you would have thought this would be a very
determined, serious and introspective young women. Instead she just seemed
fragmented and flaky much of the time, but is an interesting story even so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Davie on July 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A suspenseful fictional history that explores the past — with a feminist slant!

My Take
The start took me back to Deborah Harkness' All Souls Trilogy as Dr. Morgan slips around Oxford University with her interest in Amazons.

The Lost Sisterhood, however, is not as well-written as Harkness' work. It's melodramatic with childish behavior, interactions that rub me the wrong way, and there's a juvenile quality to how the actions are laid out, although I must give Fortier kudos for an inventive and very plausible idea about the Amazons.

This whole story is full of dumb moves, leaps to conclusions on few facts, decisions are made based on overactive imaginations, and the adventurous actions and love interests are high schoolish. You'd never believe these were supposedly intelligent people.

A foundation that changes identities at the drop of a hat that can't be bothered to communicate, a suspicious bombing that's too convenient, Diana's willy-nilly tell of her weak-willed blind traipsing along, jeopardizing her chances at Oxford, and those Amazons really need to get with the twentieth century or get more pigeons. Then there are the stupid tropes that contribute to the eye rolling and mental gagging.

Nor did Fortier make it believable that Diana was enthusiastic about delving into Amazonian history to such an extent that she would continue to follow this guy through all the twists, turns, and "traps". Sure, Fortier told us how obsessed Diana was, but she didn't show me. I couldn't buy it that she was so fascinated that she ignore all the stupid hiccups along the way. Fortier needs to work on the tension levels here.

I think Fortier missed the boat with James as well.
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