by Naomi Kritzer
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
359 pages; ISBN: 0553586734
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Bantam, July 2004, $6.99, 359 pp.
The Macedonian Empire wanes after Alexander dies until Penelope, the founder of the Sisterhood of the Weavers, learned how to bend to her will the aeriika (djinn). The empire took back what it had lost. Most countries accepted that the Greeks were their overlords but the Danibeki fought for their freedom. As a result, the rivers Janarles and Oxus were dried up by the aeriika leaving the population to value water more than gold or jewels because it ismuch rarer in the occupied land.
Lauria, a free woman in service to military commander Kyros, is asked to infiltrate the Alashi, a warrior group made up of runaway slaves and free men and women unable to live under Greek rule. As part of the plan, she is to remain in Sophos’ harem and after two weeks escape to find the Alashi. Before she is set free, Sophos rapes her and another harem slave takes care of her and accompanies her when she leaves because she hates her mater. They find the camp but the more time Lauria stays there, the less she wants to go back because she sees the truth about the Greeks like Kyros who has not punished Sophos for his attack on her.
The magical culture of the Greek Empire revolves around the djinn, how to bind and use them to further their own political and military goals. It is only when the heroine is among the Alashi does she realize that the bound djinn are as much slaves of their masters as those humans in bondage to their owner. FREEDOM’S GATE is a magical fantasy set in a powerful Greek Empire where magic and sorcery are everyday events accepted by the populace. Naomi Kritzer has written a charming fantasy that will leave readers eager to read for the next installment in what looks like a great series.
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