Those who are lost face many trials and challenges. "The Marcella Fragment" is a fantasy novel from Anna LaForge as she tells of the story of the city of Pelion, a city founded by refugees of the Old Earth. As a maze is constructed to prepare the lost souls of the world, called Ernani, those faced with its trials will find insight to their lot in life, be it what they suspThose who are lost face many trials and challenges. "The Marcella Fragment" is a fantasy novel from Anna LaForge as she tells of the story of the city of Pelion, a city founded by refugees of the Old Earth. As a maze is constructed to prepare the lost souls of the world, called Ernani, those faced with its trials will find insight to their lot in life, be it what they suspected or not. "The Marcella Fragment" is a strong pick for fantasy and science fiction collections. -- Midwest Book ReviewHow would you rebuild civilization on another planet following the devastation of Earth?A few lucky survivors of the destruction are transported by mysterious aliens referred to as "Sowers" to an un-named Earthlike world, in a future hundreds, thousands or tens-of-thousands of years from now. There, the transplanted population begins the long struggle back to civilization.Over hundreds of years, the citizens of Pelion develop what is perhaps the most advanced and enlightened society on the planet. A prophecy that they hold dear, the Marcella Fragment, drives the Council of Pelion to bring ernani (lost souls) to Pelion to participate in a transformation that will ultimately lead to the enlightenment of the population of the entire planet. It’s a tall order, as slavery runs rampant, and the majority of the population is stuck in the equivalent of Earth’s dark ages.Tyre of Lapith and Kara of Pelion come together, experiencing the pain and joy of their transformation, giving us in the process a great story of self-discovery and love.In the tradition of fine visionary novels, The Marcella Fragment takes the reader into a world both familiar and strange, peopled by warriors, artisans, healers and slaves, incorporating science fiction, fantasy, myth, and romance.I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next and why; who these people were, and who they would become. I was thrilled with what I discovered, where it took me, and what I became.--Meghan Found, Marblehead, MARead the debut novel of Anna LaForge, whom one reviewer called “…a new voice in the tradition of Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Atwood.”...
|Title||:||The Marcella Fragment|
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The Marcella Fragment Reviews
Tutored by a sage but gentle scholar, Tyre of Lapith has reached an age where he must lead men of Lapith on the hunt. Like all his kin, he is a skilled horseman. Bearing secret scars even his tutor can't understand, Tyre rides off to a future that is suddenly changed. The city Pelion draws this young son of a chieftan as it does many sons and daughters from across the planet. At Pelion these ernani are tested with hard work and ritual, fears are confronted and the true understanding of The Maze is revealed. The events and characters of The Marcella Fragment -- whether fighting, riding horses or making love -- are well drawn. Stories from elder days predicted these events, except that the characters don't quite conform. There are twists, you see, and surprises. The story is well paced, and just complicated enough to keep the reader reading. LaForge brings her characters to their marks, and brings them alive on the stage. Sometimes the characters seem to make their own choices in spite of the old prophecies -- and this talented new author.This is a story with interesting female characters, some quite powerful. I can't declare that new gender roles are tested in these pages, but the people are not stereotypes. A novel like Sherri Tepper's 1988 The Gate to Women's Country takes many readers to the edges (or outside) of their comfort zone. The Marcella Fragment is not destined to be that sort of feminist classic. But neither is it steeped in the comfortable -- for some of us, annoying -- tropes of patriarchal fiction or old fashioned space opera. Though it is an engaging fantasy story, several believable cultures are portrayed, including one society that is a working meritocracy. Not a feminist utopia really, nothing so predictable. This is a well-written first novel, an enjoyable read, and I recommend it to those who read fantasy. I understand another book in the series is on its way. I look forward to reading more from Anna LaForge.
The Marcella Fragment has everything you could want in escapist, fantasy literature: a complete world full of great characters, great conflict and a great love story. If you’re looking for a book from a feminist perspective but with plenty of action, this is the one. It combines characters from a patriarchal, misogynist, tribal society with those in a matriarchal, mystical meritocracy who must travel together on the Path of Preparation through the Maze. It has bloody battles on horseback and tender love scenes. It has torturous slave traders and mystical healers. It has how-to advice on sexual massage and open-hearth cookery. Anna LaForge is a new voice in the tradition of Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Atwood. This is just the first volume of a series involving the Maze. I can’t wait for the other volumes.
**I received this book free of charge courtesy of Goodreads First Reads Giveaway and the Author who generously sent me a copy to review.****This review contains spoilers!**When I review a book I prefer to get straight into the nitty-gritty of it all so if you are looking for a basic overview without much detail you'll want to check out the book description (link below) or continue onto other reviews! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13...I was very much looking forward to reading The Marcella Fragment because Sci-Fi & Fantasy are two of my favorite genres and this seemed to be right up my alley. Unfortunately this book left me very disappointed.I feel like this author fell into the trap that many in this genere do- they have created such an intricate world and involved story line that they are unable to allow the reader to develop any details for themselves or allow the storyline to flow as a story instead of an overly detailed report about a lost civilization or newly discovered planet. They are so focused on creating a perfect history and adding small details like describing single strands of hair that they forget this is still a story that needs to flow effortlessly for the reader and those mini interruptions of unnecessary information about prior existences or random characters ruin it when they have no place within the book but are given priority. Sometimes in a story less is more. I also think this is the kind of book where some serious editing and separation would have helped immensely. Either it should have been broken into two volumes with this story being published first and the history later (or vice-versa) or published together as one novel with a part 1 and part 2. By attempting to weave the B.T. & A.T. intermittently throughout the novel along with adding in random side characters and flashbacks it left me feeling very discombobulated. The Cast Of Characters, Commentary, and Appendix were both helpful and confusing for me. Having a written list of book characters is good because new ones are frequently introduced in a hurried manner throughout strange parts of the story but the Commentary & Appendix contained information that didn't add to the main meat of the book- they just elaborated on the intricate world LaForge is attempting to create and are filled with information not necessary for the story development and don't really help you understand what's really going on with your main characters. As soon as you start reading the book and falling into the lull of the story - seeing the characters form in your head and the events surrounding them- you are suddenly jolted out by unnecessary flash-backs containing information that has already been gone over in a different manner, introductions of new characters not really pertinent to the story or that part of the story, passages about the time Before Transformation (B.T.) or story lines related to it that only result in confusing the reader and disrupting the flow of the book, and all of this generally takes place within a few pages - sometimes less- then your suddenly flung back into the main story that was interrupted like no break had ever happened. In short, I felt like a chicken with it's head cut off ran all over my book creating road blocks for my brain ruining the entire experience for me. Another analogy would be one using the work of Tolkien's (the author includes his works as inspiration for writing in part of her autobiography on the novel) The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Are the two novels connected? Yes. At some point do they tie in and become relevant to one another? Yes. Would throwing in random parts of The Silmarillion have totally ruined the The Hobbit? Definitely. ~That analogy describes this book perfectly to me. Despite it's faults I will say that when LaForge lets go and allows herself to just write those parts of the story are good. I could get involved with the characters and start to see the places she was describing develop along with the what messages she was trying to get across within them. I do think her character development could be a little stronger because at points the relationships between the characters becomes confusing and I am unable to tell if it's wanted conflict or lack of development leading to the confusion? For instance- I'm still slightly confused on what the exact relationship between Belwyn & Tyre was in a romantic sense? It seems at some point they may have had sexual intercourse together? Or were headed there? I admit I may have missed the clarification somewhere along the way because I was distracted trying to decipher the mental roadblocks strewn throughout the novel. It also seemed that the ending was predictable and a tad juvenile given the complicated story LaForge was attempting to create. I really expected more than what felt like a cop-out to end it there for her sequel. LaForge is already in works on a second novel and I would be interested in reading it when it comes out. As I said above, when she just writes and allows the story to develop it becomes clear she is a talented writer who has some serious potential to create a wonderful novel and it would be fun to see where she goes with this. If the second novel reads just like the first I will be honest in saying I will end my reading journey with her there. A wonderful book for me is one that sucks me in and doesn't leave me feeling frustrated or confused about the basics. I know every person reads every story differently and this is just my personal opinion. I really do appreciate the chance I've had to review this book and I have already lent it out so that others can read The Marcella Fragment and decide for themselves.Happy Reading!
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. Thanks for letting me read it.Read this book if you enjoy:-Female authors writing pretty intelligent sci-fi/fantasy-Sci-fi/fantasy mixed together-Stories that challenge patriarchal societies-Fantasy stories that don't have an all-caucasian cast-Stories that include male and female characters evenly in the main and supporting castI have gripes, maybe not quite complaints, but they're few. I'm pretty dense; I may never have understood that this planet the story takes place on is not the homeworld of the people living there if I hadn't read the synopsis. It may not be entirely the author's fault. Books are often billed as one thing by the publisher/marketing when, in fact, these things aren't true or they will occur later. I only encountered maybe two hints to this but. Yeah. The Sci-fi elements come into play because there are mind-reading "adepts" that communicate telepathically.I also wish maybe some more bones had been thrown our way early on as to why these people are put through these trials, and why they are brought to a certain place to learn and love. I know there will be more books in the series, but I wish perhaps things had been revealed to me, and perhaps the characters had been left in the dark, or maybe the characters should have talked about this more, whether they doubted their mission or not. What I really enjoyed about this story was the horrifying descriptions of human slavery. There's a whole city where slave trade thrives, and these adepts go there and just feel the terror and pain of the slaves. They're tasked with getting them out. It's really heartbreaking, and it was very satisfying to see characters that were so mentally and physically scarred find something they excel at, then find love and acceptance.The book begins with Tyre, a boy in a tribe that sort of resembles the ancient Gauls of Europe (and boy do I love me some Gauls). His tutor, Belwyn, is an outsider to the tribe chosen to teach him. (view spoiler)[Tyre exhibits some anxieties regarding women and sex, and we are left to guess at what they are. The young man goes out to prove himself in a raiding party, when they're attacked by slavers. His friends are killed or captured, and he's sent to the slave market in a city called Agave. Eventually he's marched to another city where his holistic healing begins. I just really like the idea of people being mentally healed with empaths. Tyre and his lady overcome his sex anxieties together, and he learns that opening up to someone isn't so bad. He's still very masculine, but he sheds his tribe's reluctance to share feelings with women and really grows. I enjoy seeing fiction like this, with both people in a relationship working together. I've also signed up to read LaForge's Agave Revealed and eagerly await starting. (hide spoiler)]
I've been an SF fan for decades, having started with Heinlein, Clarke and Asimov, and moving over the years to Pournelle, Bova, Niven, Scalzi, McDevitt and others. I'm constantly looking for the best of the newer authors, and I just read The Marcella Fragment by Anna LaForge. If you love a great story where you never tired of feeling the joy and pain of the characters...pick up the book and read it.The story takes place on an un-named Earthlike world, in a future hundreds, thousands or tens-of-thousands of years from now. Earth was destroyed by the neglect of its inhabitants, and a lucky few were transported by mysterious aliens referred to as "Sowers" to this new planet. There, the transplanted population begins the long struggle back to civilization, possessing, initially, little more than their wits.Over hundreds of years, led by a succession of "Mothers", the citizens of Pelion develop what is perhaps the most advanced and enlightened society on the planet. A prophecy that they hold dear, the Marcella Fragment, is behind the action of the story. Simply put, the Council of Pelion believes they must bring ernani (lost souls) to Pelion to participate in a transformation that will ultimately lead to the enlightenment of the population of the entire planet. That's a tall order, as slavery runs rampant, and we get the impression that a majority of the population are still stuck in the dark ages.It is Tyre of Lapith and Kara of Pelion that come together and experience the pain and joy of this transformation, giving us in the process a great story of self-discovery and love. They have a supporting cast of people around them that make you smile, laugh, cry and cringe as the adventure unfolds.I suppose you could call this "dystopian feminist science fiction" but don't let that label scare you away. Though I have always loved what might be called `hard' science fiction, what really attracts me is a well written story with compelling characters that seem real, coupled with a setting in the future--one in which the author has an intriguing vision of what might come to pass. Good science fiction is not always about robots and spaceships!According to the author, this is Book 1 of a series called "Maze." I can only tell you that I hope Book 2 comes out soon! I was left at the end of the book wanting more, and I can't wait to see if the second book delivers.