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The Sun's Bride by Gillian Bradshaw
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The Sun's Bride (2008)

by Gillian Bradshaw

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Not one of Bradshaw's best,* unfortunately; the romance was telegraphed, and the political plot was ...weird. Hard to follow? Pointless? I can't quite say what was wrong with it, but I've seen her handle plot much better. That said, this is a fun, tidy little novel, set in an awesome period (Hellenistic Greece, omg ilu), with a pretty kickass female protagonist, and I cannot but approve of all of this.


* Light-years better than her English Civil War books, omg. ( )
  cricketbats | Mar 31, 2013 |
I usually find Gillian Bradshaw's historical novels a pleasure to read and this one was no exception. It has all the characteristics I particularly enjoy in her work. Its historically accurate without in any way being a dry compendium of factoids. Its full of interesting strong willed characters, male and female, who have agendas and pursue them with courage and creativity, and are sometimes funny and sometimes tragic and always of their time. I particularly appreciate that she writes strong women who are of their time. She doesn't make them proto feminists who have somehow absorbed ideas from the future (a wormhole in time perchance?) but she doesn't make them a bunch of spineless nellies either.

It explores some aspect of history that isn't all that widely known, a time period or a location, or a profession that is a little bit off the beaten path. In this case the story concerns a kithara player trying to build a career for herself and a galley captain for the navy of Rhodes in the time after Alexander's empire has fallen apart. Finally, its a tale, not a tome. Okay sometimes there's a place in my reading for the sprawling decades long epic with the cast of thousands. But at least as often, in fact probably more often, I like a neat, self contained story with a bit of self restraint. Its something I particularly value in historical fiction, which does sometime suffer from a tendency to go on a bit. ( )
  bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is certainly better than the disappointing Dark North, but still well below her best work. When I think back to Horses of Heaven or The Beacon at Alexandria (my favourite) I can't help wishing that Gillian Bradshaw would go back to writing books that are more ... adult (i.e. mature, not today's common meaning of adult!).

I don't think this is specifically marketed for teenagers, but with its restricted language, predictable plot, and rather stereotyped characters, it reads that way. It was also missing her common trick of managing to place modern concerns in a historical setting without making them seem out of place (e.g. the experience of immigrants in Island of Ghosts).

I didn't dislike it; it was a diverting read with a couple of exciting moments and a nice little twist at the end. I just know she used to be able to do better. ( )
  veronicay | Sep 11, 2008 |
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About the helmsman of a third-century Rhodian ship whose mission is to hunt and destroy pirates.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0727866419, Hardcover)

Spring, 266 BC. When Isokrates, helmsman of the Rhodian warship Atalanta, encounters a pirate vessel off the Lycian coast, he finds himself caught up in affairs of state more deadly than the naval battles hes accustomed to. Among the pirates victims is a beautiful woman, the mistress of a king, who is fleeing to her lovers enemy with news that will start a war to engulf the whole of the east . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 246 B.C., a Rhodian warship encounters a pirate vessel off the Lycian coast that is carrying the king's mistress, who is fleeing to her lover's enemy with news that will start a war to engulf the whole of the east.

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