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Maia by Richard Adams
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Maia

by Richard Adams

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Beklan Empire (prequel)

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7831411,764 (3.74)1 / 45

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Occasionally tedious but still a fantastic adventure with some memorable characters. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
This is a prequel to Shardik, a good book about God. More conventionally focussed, this is a story about a courtesan who saves the Belkan Empire. I enjoyed the style and many of the POV characters would have a very hard time fitting into a role-playing game. On the whole reread material. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Dec 23, 2013 |
Er, this just seemed kind of ick. In various ways. I didn't stick around to see if it got any better.
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Adams is, without doubt, a superb writer. Maia is engrossing, its characters are fleshy, real--easy to lose yourself in. When I first read this book, in my youth, I would have given it 5 stars.

But in looking back, I realize that Maia (at 15) loved jumping in and out of bed with middle aged men. In fact, all of the women in this book are stereotypes of one sort or another. The only strong woman who isn't a psychopath is Black and bisexual! In addition, women who seek to control their own sexuality are demonized and, ultimately, destroyed.

Actually, if the female characters had been portrayed more realistically, Maia would be a masterpiece, for Adams is a masterful storyteller. ( )
1 vote Valjeanne | Aug 11, 2012 |
Probably one of the first truly epic books I ever read. It's a fantastical novel about a young girl whose mother sells her into slavery and the path her life takes from that moment on. While the book is very graphic, it also has a lot of literary meat to it. Highly recommend. Only read if you're in the mood for a book where you need to pay attention. While there is a list of characters in that back, it can still be quite confusing to someone not used to reading about multiple characters. ( )
  Sariberry | Sep 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Adamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giusti, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tweddlell, KevinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Among the barbarians, and among animals, we find courage associated not with the greatest ferocity, but with a gentle and lion-like temper.
Dedication
To Peter Johnson and Michael Mahony, my sons-in-law, in whom I count myself fortunate
First words
Three hundred yards downstream the noise of the falls, muffled by intervening trees and undergrowth in the crook of the bend, was reduced to a quiet murmur of pouring water, a natural sound more smoothly continuous than any other—than wind, insects or even night frogs in the marshes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
_Maia_ consists of four parts: _The Peasant_, _The Slave-girl_, The Serrelinda_ and _The Suban_. In various languages, these are published in one, two or four volumes, which are to be treated as separate works. Do NOT join them all here!
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Maia is set in the Beklan Empire, the same fantasy world as Adams's 1974 novel Shardik. Although published ten years after Shardik, Maia is a loose prequel whose events take place about a dozen years earlier. A few characters appear in both books.

Maia is a beautiful teenage peasant girl who is sold into slavery. Amidst colorful, boldly drawn characters, she is drawn (sometimes unwillingly or even unknowingly) into many adventures and machinations: ritual dances, flooding rivers, espionage, politics, and war. Some scenes, particularly during Maia's enslavement, include moderately explicit sexual and sado-masochistic elements. Nevertheless, she survives the decadence and danger with an impulsive, innocent sense of courage and action. Maia ends with the sort of quotidian, pastoral, familial scene (in Maia's memory and expectation of returning home) which commonly rewards the positive characters in Adams's works.

The morality of slavery is discussed among the characters throughout the book, and a civil war is fought in part to restrict the actions of slavers and limit the number of slaves in the Beklan Empire. Similar to the invention and use of the Lapine language among the rabbits of Watership Down, Adams employs some "Beklan" vocabulary to create a localized sense of honorifics and natural objects, as well as to avoid sexual vulgarity in English. (from Wikipedia)
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Sold into slavery to the dealer Lalloc by her mother when her stepfather seduces her, the beautiful 15-year-old Maia is almost raped by Genshed, one of Lalloc's employees but is saved by Occula, a black slave girl. With no-one but Occula at her side, Maia must summon all her courage, strength and intelligence as she navigates the seedy side of the Beklan empire.… (more)

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