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Warrior Woman by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Warrior Woman

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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391439,201 (3.27)13



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A really nice little book about a woman who has lost her memory and chooses to be a gladiator rather than a harlot. Some interesting themes of science, the rights of women, war, even democracy, but none of them go too deep. That's my central issue with this book: no depth. It's a delight to read, and I love the way the author keeps the first person sort of clipped, like you imagine the internal thoughts of the protagonist to be. The book ends far to quickly with very little resolution. Well, there's a half-hearted, sci-fi from nowhere resolution. Ok, it's not from nowhere, but it was still unsatisfying. ( )
1 vote phethpwar | Nov 9, 2013 |
This was written alledged to be a response to a challenge to write a better Gor story than what was found in the publishers slush pile. I suspect it was well beyond the slush pile level of quality but it is not a Gor story either. But then the problem MZB was having with the Gor stories probably was inherent to the Gor story attirbutes and not the quality of unsolicited submissions that D.A.W.received ( )
  svfreeman | Oct 7, 2012 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
As the last M.Z. Bradley book to be reviewed on this blog (emilysanecdotes.blogspot.com), at least for a long while, I found Warrior Woman a much better read than the previous two. Shorter, faster-paced, full of action, passion and an unusual, exciting female character (Zadya). In this story, Zadya begins with no name since she remembers very little of her life before she is sold as a prostitute to a gladiatorial arena. The flashbacks she does have of her former life are painful memories of being brutally raped, and being surrounded by white fire. Zadya begins her new life by killing one of the men who tries to grope her as she's first introduced to the arena as one of its new whores. In return, she is offered a place in the arena as a fighter - a gladiator, who among other gladiators will fight other men and women and animals to the death for the viewing pleasure of the crowds. Zadya becomes her new name, and her career as a fighter is a roaring success - so much so, that she catches the eye of a wealthy woman who wants to start an all-female gladiator group. This is where it all takes off, with Zadya remembering more and more of her past life and how she got where she did, the friends she makes, including Beizun a fellow female-gladiator who actually chose the life (and possible early death) of a gladiator for no other reason than to pay off her gambling debts.

Will Zadya ever discover her pre-gladiator past? Will she stay alive long enough to try? These are the main questions, but other issues in the book are worth mulling over as well - if your life came down to a choice between a long life of misery as a prostitute, or a possibly short and terrible existence as a gladiator, which would you choose? Why do these women make the decisions they do? Beizun, for one, is an interesting character who volunteered to fight in the area. The real reason why she chose this is anyone's guess, and I would've been happy to read another book just about her. I would also have read further about the lives of gladiators in general, not to mention the female gladiators. The theme was fascinating however short-lived - the book could have been longer, and it's hard to believe I'm saying that, but this one really had everything - mysterious characters who make even more mysterious decisions, lead crazy lives, and never give up their dignity and compassion for each other. A page-turner and a pleasure to read.

emilysanecdotes.blogspot.com ( )
  Novimarra | Apr 22, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marion Zimmer Bradleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gurney, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Kat, who washed dishes so I could write this book.
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In the days before man traveled space, there were those who sat in elegant control rooms, guiding satellites into orbit or giant robots to construct buildings or master computers to affect decisions across a continent or a world.
White fire explodes around me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
    Warrior Woman
They called her Zadieyek of Gyre, which meant "dreaded woman." She was a fighter, dangerous to confront. Dreaded. The distant city of Gyre trained such women, so they thought she came from there and called her Zadieyek of Gyre.

If she had a real name and a true birthplace, she could not remember them. Her life had apparently begun with her sale to the Arena for a short brief stardom fighting vicious men and savage beasts.

Because she was truly a skilled gladiator, she became an object of value. Bids were made for her body, by those who wanted a winner -- or a valued slave.

For herself, she was determined to get to Gyre, to find her freedom and her heritage. This is her story -- a mystery of fiery passions, of fierce conflict and forbidden ambitions -- and the flickering memory of alien wonders and unearthly things.

nb: Text moved from "(bibliographic) description" field; looks like publisher's blurb. [It's from the back cover of the book.]

     "I will have a band of the most beautiful fighters ever seen in the area," said Ifania. "If Gyre produced Zadieyek, I have no doubt there are other fighting women who could be induced to come and exhibit their skills!
     I stared at Ifania in astonishment and dismay. I wished to be free of the arena, not to seduce others into it. But Ifania's friends all joined in with excitement at the thought that women fighters might come to dominate the arena. 
    I do not know why the thought pleases them so much. What, I wonder, in the name of any or all of the Gods, excites them in the idea of women fighting in the gladiatorial spectacle?
    Do they not know that I would change my life with any of them? Do they think I chose this life because I liked it?
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