Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Perfect 10:

THE LOST SISTERHOOD – Anne Fortier 
A Perfect 10 
Ballantine Books 
ISBN: 978-0-345-53622-8 
March 2014 
Fiction 

Europe and North Africa 

Diana Morgan has been an Oxford philologist (one who studies languages) specializing in Greek mythology and the Amazons. She grew up with the knowledge drilled into her by her grandmother that the Amazons were not myth, but reality. Her love for her grandmother, who disappeared before Diana's parents could commit her to an asylum, remains deep in her heart. When a stranger offers her an opportunity to possibly reveal the true story of the Amazons to the world, the normally reasonable Diana jumps at the chance. Armed with a handwritten book that her grandmother left behind, and wearing the jackal bracelet mysteriously sent to her, she travels to North Africa where she is met by a scruffy Middle Easterner, Nick Barran. The secretive circumstances surrounding the archeological site is made all the more mysterious when Nick takes Diana's cell phone away, and he makes it abundantly clear that he doesn't want her there. 

The newly discovered temple is deep underground, and Diana is fascinated to discover that because of her grandmother's notebook, she is able to translate the words written on the walls. She is also stunned to recognize a duplicate of her bracelet in the sarcophagus they open. But she finds herself in danger when she is in the temple alone, and it's only Nick's quick thinking that saves Diana before the entire site explodes. Diana is beginning to understand that someone, somewhere doesn't want her to discover the Amazons' story, or to find what some believe is a lost treasure given to the Amazons at the fall of Troy. 

With the help of her childhood friend, who is an archeologist, and a reluctant Nick, Diana sets off for Turkey and then Greece to find more clues. But whom can she trust? Is Nick working for someone who doesn't want her to succeed? And why is someone back in England involved too? There are too many accidents, too many shadowy people for Diana to feel safe in her quest. 

Every other chapter in THE LOST SISTERHOOD tells the story of Myrina, the first queen of the Amazons, and her own quest to find and rescue her sister and other women kidnapped by the Greeks from their North African homeland. Myrina learns how to fight, becomes a leader of the small band of women she takes with her, and eventually ends up in Troy, shortly before its fall. The historical detail and the incredibly brave women, in the past as well as the present, made for a terrific read. There is non-stop adventure for both Diana and Myrina. Each woman must learn whom to trust, and also how to use their physical and mental skills to protect themselves. 

THE LOST SISTERHOOD is an impressive five hundred and seventy five pages long, but it was impossible to put down. Meticulous research, a delicious mystery, and characters that leaped from the story make this brilliant book a Perfect 10. 

Jani Brooks

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