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Monday, April 21, 2008

Book Review: Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

book review: Lavinia by Ursula K Le GuinLavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin is the story of the King’s daughter who Aeneas fights to claim in Vergil’s The Aeneid. I know this sounds heavy, but it’s not. Le Guin does a fantastic job of bringing a tertiary character to life.

Lavinia is about the war that takes place for Lavinia’s hand in marriage (which is really about the amount of land and goats the boy gets). Lavinia is a head-strong girl who grows up during the peaceful reign of her father and has to endure the trials and tribulations of suitors, her crazy mother who wants to marry her off to a cousin (ok in those days), and the war that takes place when a foreigner (Aeneas) arrives on the scene just after an oracle declares that Lavinia must be married to a foreigner. Despite seeing the guy once from a hilltop, Lavinia is super keen to follow orders. I think she’s looking for an escape from the cousin.

Trojan horses, Vergil’s The Aeneid, ancient Italy, prophecies and quick witted maidens: Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin offers a lot to like.

I give it a 4 out of 5. High entertainment value. The beginning was a little difficult to get into. I was having troubles figuring out who was narrating, Lavinian, Vergil? I’m sure the blame rests with me and not with Le Guin.

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin, published by Harcourt Books.

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