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Reviews of Maia (1984)

Review by spiphany (2004-11-19)
I wanted something I could read and get absorbed in and enjoy but which I didn't have to think about too much, and this fit. It's set in the same world as Adams' earlier book "Shardik", and there are a few characters who appear in both books, which is rather fun. The writing is rich and descriptive, and every so often Adams delights me by slipping in a word I haven't seen before. What's exceptional about this is that he can use really sophisticated and technical words (such as "riparian") in a manner that seems completely natural and unforced; the words don't stand out on the page. The forthright manner in which the characters talk about sex and the vocabulary Adams creates for it are startling at first - "basting", "zard", "deldas" - not so much because the reader is aware what these words stand for, but because of the complete avoidance of euphemism, and because he avoids the vulgarity that is associated with these taboo words.

Review by branko (2003-06-23)
What I liked about this book is that it dragged me in and would not let me go: it's that engrossing. Despite the fact that it is political fantasy, and that it was written by Richard Adams, I mainly remember it as being light of tone. That may seem the more strange considering the main character, Maia, is a teenage girl who becomes a sex slave. Yet, she starts out a strong willed person, and her being a sex slave seems to empower her even more.




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