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Strange and Beautiful Story,
This review is from: Her Frozen Wild (Paperback)
First, may I just say, what's not to love about a lady who loves Barnabas Collins/Dark
Shadows, Mr. Darcy, Emily Dickinson, Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Alien's Ripley, and
her own husband as her best friend? And, who writes fantastical novels about mystical
women... I think Kim Antieau is an eccentric sort or woman with a bent toward acting
"normal" because she finds it amusing. I like that she describes herself as someone who
goes behind her closed door for long periods of time to "do things" (I take that to mean her
writing and research), then comes out one day, peeking around her door to see if there's
anybody still out there. It's an "after thought." Are there still real people out there!
LOL I love that! I also love that she's an old fashioned librarian...one who is vigilant
about keeping books alive for us.
That being said, Ms Antieau is also quite an accomplished author. Sad to say, I'm not
familiar with others of her books, but I intend to be. Based on my reading of "Her Frozen
Wild," I can hardly wait!
"Her Frozen Wild" begins with an expedition in Siberia that uncovers a woman's body replete
with markings like tattoos. It is obvious to all the archaeologists involved that the woman
is some kind of shaman/princess. Her mtDNA which apparently matches Ursula Smith's, an
American archaeologist, brings them all together to solve the mystery of the frozen
princess's history. Ursula's mother's disappearance 30 years prior in the same location,
her instincts and her connections with her Russian male counterpart to the scientific
research work together to create the foundation of this startling novel. What makes this
book unique to others that may have been read with similar backgrounds is the mystical way
Ms Antieau puts thing together. There are some elements that will bring to mind Clan of the
Cave Bear in terms of the early exposure to cave people and magical thinking we experienced
in writing and reading in the early 1970's. There are some elements that are skating the
edges and outer limits of syfy or magical thinking today. This is a book couched between
different worlds, viewed through the eyes of different characters, captured in a landscape
so odd and so pristine, yet so foreign to most civilization that it's like an alien planet.
"Her Frozen Wild" is a strange and beautiful tale.
Before I go too far in this review, I want to reference for you a guest post Ms Antieau gave
earlier this month on a blog in which she explores how Her Frozen Wild became a concept to her.
She was dreaming frequently about bears. She eventually connected that bears and ancient peoples
were connected in forms considered to be healing totems and such. Or, that humans took on bear spirits
or connections, and when they did so, they were known or seen to have healing powers...shaman powers.
It was through her own recurring dreams and her reading about an actual discovery in Siberia of a frozen
shaman woman with tattoos that she began her exploration of this novel.
Dreams and subconscious impressions inhabit this novel throughout and overlap the story. The characters
are rich in this covering. This is one of the most unique novels I've read because of the employ of this
method, and the use of it so masterfully. And, I fell in love with Ursula and Sergei immediately. Ursula
is a complex character, a beloved child who is brought up by a knowledgeable and mystical grandmother to
guide her, as well as a mother who had the calling to another time and dimension through archaeology.
This book has a storyline that is carried out in a most captivating way.
I recommend the book to those who love a mystery, but also who are looking for a change in pace from the
ordinary. Ms Antieau is an extraordinary writer. If nothing else, this is a rare trip into the often unexplored
side of creative writing. It's an amazing and beautiful novel.