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Book Review: The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman

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The Foretelling is Alice Hoffman’s fourth book for young readers, and what a great tale it is. Rain, the heroine, is a young Amazon princess who was born to Alina, Queen of the legendary Amazon warriors. She is destined to become the Queen of the Amazons, as told in the prophecies of her people.

Told in spare, gorgeous prose, we learn that Rain is raised by the other women of the tribe, her mother unable to be close to her as Rain is the product of a violent rape. Rain, like all girls of her tribe, is raised on mare’s milk and nurtured with the strength of the warriors. She is a girl given to dark dreams and strange longings.

Rain is determined to win her mother’s love and become the best Amazon warrior there is. She practices constantly on her horse, learning tricks and becoming so one with it that she exceeds even Amazonian expectations. None of what she does wins her the love she craves though, and Rain grows up always feeling a bit different and alone. She must find her place within the tribe and become a Queen in her own right, and bring about a very different future for her people.

This story is remarkable in its ability to bring a legendary and little-known culture to life. Alice Hoffman’s Amazons are larger than life, but very real and multi-dimensional. Rain’s quest to find herself and her place in the midst of war, turmoil and treachery is astounding and quite wonderful. It’s such an eloquent, believable and poetic story. Highly recommended!

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