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Atlan by Jane Gaskell

Atlan (original 1965; edition 1985)

by Jane Gaskell

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1554109,721 (3.88)5
Authors:Jane Gaskell
Info:Futura Publications (1985), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, read 2010

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Atlan by Jane Gaskell (1965)



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Atlan is the second (or third, depending on the series edition) book of Gaskell's tales of the goddess-hostage-fugitive-empress-scullery-maid-exile-et-cetera Cija in an antediluvian world of feuding kingdoms, Atlanteans, dinosaurs, unicorns, and battle-birds. A preamble chapter "The Road" is in the voice of a new character, the rogue Scar, but the rest of the book is still Cija's diary, increasingly unbelievable as a document transmitted intact from prehistoric times.

In this book, Cija becomes a mother, and sheds many of her youthful principles in efforts to survive. Perhaps two-thirds of the chapters might have been titled "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire," as the imperial status that she attained at the end of the first book makes her a target for abuse and exploitation as often as it protects her. She frequently finds cause for reproaching herself, and her various associates, companions, and lovers all have a touch of ambivalence, but tend more to the bad than the good.

As the military and political situation in the Atlan capital heats up, Cija is sent into the continent's interior to be sequestered at a half-ruined castle. The second half of the book, set within and around this castle, has a very gothic tone to it. The phenomenon of "Old Atlan," which embraces humans, animals, plants, and even architecture in some unexplained genius loci becomes more active and important in this installment. The end of the book clearly concludes an episode of Cija's saga, but has much less sense of resolution than the previous one, which delivered her to the throne of Atlan. I don't have a copy of the next volume (The City), but I guess I'll keep an eye out for it, without too much urgency.
2 vote paradoxosalpha | Jul 26, 2017 |
Have 1968 Paperback Library Edition ( )
  Georges_T._Dodds | Mar 29, 2013 |
Take Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan, H. Rider Haggard's Lost Civilizations and John Norman's Gor and as your heroine princess raised to believe she's divine and men are extinct and you have the world of the Atlan Saga. Atlan, the second in the trilogy (or third, given Serpent is sometimes split into two works), continues the perils of Princess Cija, who falls into the clutches of Sedili, the first wife of her lover Zerd, a man-serpent general. Cija does grow on you, which given these are supposed to be her diaries is important, and this is my favorite of the books narrated by her. (Her much smarter daughter Seka takes over in Some Summer Lands.) Sometimes I'm embarrassed to admit I've read these, let alone these are favorites that have been on my bookshelves since my teens, but there you are. Addictive like crack. Or just crack pot. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 25, 2012 |
Cija's complicated love life produces two children... And her amazing, horrible, beautiful adventures continue.
  PollyMoore3 | Jun 24, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Gaskellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frazetta, FrankCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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