Tuesday 11 March 2014

ARC Review: The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
Release Date: 11th March 2014
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Netgalley
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads Summary

The Lost Sisterhood is the new novel from the author of Juliet, an Oprah's Book Club Pick published in 30 countries which has been picked up by Universal to be made into a feature film. The Lost Sisterhood tells the story of Diana, a young and aspiring--but somewhat aimless--professor at Oxford. Her fascination with the history of the Amazons, the legendary warrior women of ancient Greece, is deeply connected with her own family's history; her grandmother in particular. When Diana is invited to consult on an archeological excavation, she quickly realizes that here, finally, may be the proof that the Amazons were real.

The Amazons' "true" story--and Diana's history--is threaded along with this modern day hunt. This historical back-story focuses on a group of women, and more specifically on two sisters, whose fight to survive takes us through ancient Athens and to Troy, where the novel reinvents our perspective on the famous Trojan War.

The Lost Sisterhood features another group of iconic, legendary characters, another grand adventure--you'll see in these pages that Fortier understands the kind of audience she has built with Juliet, but also she's delivering a fresh new story to keep that audience coming back for more.

Do you like adventure? Does a good treasure hunt intrigue you? Are you fascinated by ancient history and mythology? Then perhaps you have come to the right place for this book provides you with a good mix of everything I just mentioned above.

There are mixed reviews all over the place about this book and it’s really easy to see why. Some people will love this and some people won’t. One reviewer described this book as the Dan Brown of women’s fiction and that is a very apt comparison because this book does have the same vibes as a typical Dan Brown book and your enjoyment of this book will largely depend on whether or not that sort of thing works for you. If you haven’t read any Dan Brown and are confused as to what I am referring to.. basically, do you like info dumps? Do you mind being stuffed with information? Avoid this if that doesn't appeal to you, but if you don’t mind so long as the topic interests you (which in case it did for me), dive right in but prepared for a couple of unrealistic things that may bother you.

I was in 3rd grade when I first heard about the lost city of Troy and since then, mythology hasn’t let go of the grip it has on me. As soon as I came across this book and saw the combination of mythology, history and women’s fiction, I knew I had to read it and I was not let down. I went into this expecting a good adventure and that is exactly what I got.

This novel follows the story of two women, namely Myrina, who lived in the Bronze Age and Diana who lives in present day.

Diana is approached by a mysterious man who tells her that proof that Amazons existed has been found. The man proceeds to hand her an image to back up what he is saying. Diana is definitely vary but she is also intrigued because well she is passionate about Amazons and something about the writing in the image seems familiar. It turns out that the notebook her grandmother left her was written in the same language and so begins our adventure as Diana follows the same path Myrina did over thousands of years ago.

Diana for the most part is a pretty decent female lead. She is headstrong and can make her own decisions. She doesn’t let the men make her choices for her but instead does what she feels is right. She’s grown up, she can handle herself… for the most part. Sometimes she may need to be rescued and sometimes her decisions land her in icky messes but really the one thing that bothered me about her is how oblivious she can be. Especially with the whole thing about her grandma. It’s GLARINGLY obvious what’s going on there yet Diana was blind to that for a major chunk of the book.

Also, I do not buy the fact that this chick translated an ancient scripture in a manner of days. Uh.. NO. Even with the ‘translating dictionary’ Diana had (her grandmother’s notebook), it should still take more than a mere 5 days. Remember when I mentioned unrealistic things? Yup, this was one of them.

Myrina was an interesting character to say the least. Both Diana and Myrina get thrown into circumstances that turn their lives upside down, they follow similar paths but their stories are different. Myrina travels all the way to a city to find the Moon Goddess so that her sister can be cured of the blindness that came as a result of a fever. Myrina is a wonderful sister and more than that, she is a brave warrior. She is a hunter at heart and she is a strong female lead and a great leader. In spite of all these wonderful things about her, I never really liked her. I didn’t dislike her, but her story, while fun to follow, was not nearly as enjoyable as Diana’s. Perhaps this is because Myrina’s story has an underlying sadness to it. When you realize that all of this occurred in a past so distant, in a part of history that has been lost and might not ever be recovered, it makes you feel very melancholic.

One of the loop holes in Myrina’s story was her elder sister. I have no idea what happened to her. Perhaps I accidentally skimmed over the part (hey, the book was long!!), or perhaps it was never mentioned.

The world building is were some of the other issues arise. The scholars in this world are constantly looking down on women and I know this happens in the real world. I KNOW. But the extent to which it happens in this book kind of pisses me off. It seems overdone. Then there was also the thing about the female lead being half American and other scholars constantly mocking her for her ‘Americaness’ when according to her she was raised in Britain. Really? Are we really going there?

The author brought some original twists to the tales we know and some of them, well, some of them just didn’t work for me. They were believable. The author didn’t just pull them out of nowhere but sometimes some things don’t work for you and nothing can change that. There were also other things that the author threw into the mix which didn’t sit well with me but I learned to live with those grievances to enjoy the adventure I was on.

One of my other issues with this novel was the romance. No the romances. Neither of the romances were all that well developed. The romance is not the focus of either story (okay so perhaps Myrina’s tale has a tad bit more romance) but I never saw it coming. I mean I knew there was going to be a romance, but there wasn’t enough development in either case to make the romance more believable. They seemed to have popped out of nowhere.

With that said, Myrina’s romance, even with my annoyance of how it seemed random, was so sweet. It really just brought out emotions. Yes I was annoyed that Myrina willingly gave up who she was but then her romantic interest is just so adorable that it’s hard to stay mad. There is so much respect in their relationship and so much love and SO MUCH COMPANIONSHIP. They can tell each other things. They do get mad at each other but they are sweet together.

Diana’s romance was… iffy. Nick is not the best love interest out there. He has been lying to her since the dawn of time and has pulled her inside this complicated web of lies and really I have no idea how she could trust him after everything that he has done. I know I wouldn’t. Pretty face be damned (although I am not sure we know what he looks like exactly).

There are secrets, lies, ancient civilizations and heaps of mythology involved and if you’re looking for an adventure, this book does give you one.

But it’s best not to go into this book expecting to be wowed. Similar to a typical Darn Brown book, the excitement only lasts for the period you are reading the book and once you’re done, everything will fade away. This book makes for excellent brain candy and I’d recommend this to fans of Dan Brown but also to anyone who is looking to lay back and just chill with a good adventure. Don’t let the number of pages scare you off for they go by pretty fast and the book will be over before you know it. 


  1. Oh a treasure hunt! And yes I do like mythology a lot actually. Especially Greek myth - ever since I read the Percy Jackson series >.< But I love to get into some new and lesser known myths too. I've been seeing this book around and you're right the reviews are mixed but that makes me even more curious! May not be a mindblowing book but it seems like a good time for the moment! :) Great review, Rashika!

  2. Man . . . and I was really looking forward to this one. But I'm so not a Dan Brown fan. But like you, I've been enamored of Classical mythology since around the 3rd grade. Maybe if I get stuck on a long flight . . . SIDENOTE--have you heard about Heracleion?! If you haven't, google it, google it NOW >:D

  3. Hi!
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    join up at extaordinaryreads.com. Loads of original authors need all the help they can get!

  4. Wow Rashika, this book does sound like it has a lot going for it! I can see why you would find Diana's character frustrating, yet interesting at the same time, clueless characters do tend to get on my nerves, but then it did seem like she had a lot more going for her, what with her 5 day translation! Ha. But I am also intrigued about Myrina's, I think it's maybe the sad aspect, which I find appealing! Also I want to know more about her romance! Thanks for putting this book on my radar, I will definitely be giving it a go, when I'm in the right mood for it!

  5. I love a good historical romance. Add mystery and I'm a happy girl! Switching back and forth from present to the past sounds really interesting. Nice to see you enjoyed a lot about this book, Rashika! Great review! :)

  6. I haven't read anything by Dan Brown before, but I hate info-dump. I didn't even know what it full on meant until I read The Bone Season and realized how much I hated that kind of things. What would all the books be like if the MC-s realized everything yeah? They must be oblivious to everything *eyeroll* I'm glad that the book has original twists to things that could very well be not that original in this kind of concept. Ha, I'm kind of sad to hear that the romance seemed random, but I'm glad you enjoyed the sweetness of it:) Even though you clearly had some issues I'm happy to hear that you still enjoyed this as a whole. Great review, Rashika!

  7. I'm with you on the info dump thing, I can tolerate it if the book interests me or it is easy to follow. Troy has always interested me too, and mythology is a favorite subject of mine. Sounds like it has its faults but you still liked it, which makes me want to pick it up. Awesome review :D

  8. ... The universe wants me to read Percy Jackson. I am not kidding. I cannot count the number of times I've seen the book brought up in the past month O_O. PEER PRESSURE.

    Mixed reviews always makes you wonder which book you'll swing so admittedly, thats one of the reasons why I read it too.

    Thanks Giselle!! :)

  9. alsdlajksdans
    I must see if I can find documentaries (Don't judge me..)

  10. YAY! I really hope you enjoy this Jasprit!! :)

  11. I think it appeals to a lot of people! :D

  12. I love a good historical romance too (good brain candy) :D
    and adding mystery/mythology always makes things more exciting.
    Thanks Rachel!! :)

  13. I've heard a lot of things about the info-dump in The Bone Season so i decided to skip it. They would be no fun but then again there are some things MCs just gotta realize instead of you know, turning a blind eye.

    Thanks Siiri!! :)

  14. Yay! Another mythology fan! :D
    I do hope you pick it up and end up enjoying it as well.

    Thanks Alise!! :)

  15. LOL. I think it's hilarious that you think I would judge you. I nearly lost my mind when I first heard about it. The only thing potentially cooler than this would be if they found the Library of Alexandria :)

  16. All the scholars would lose it.. I cannot imagine the vast knowledge that library contained.
    It would be HEAVEN.

  17. Really interesting points here. I didn't see the Dan Brown similarities when I was reading it, but now that you mention them I can definitely see the parallels. I really enjoyed it, though, and thought that the way she played with the mythology of Troy and the Amazons was extremely clever.
    Hope you don't mind, I linked to your review at the end of mine! :)


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