A Rib From Eve


Fiction - Fantasy - General
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Katherine Christensen has taken a myth and expanded it into a beautiful work of art. A Rib From Eve is a look into the past. The setting is Briton 620 AD. The land was savage, and the women were strong and resourceful. It was a time of struggle between the pagans and the Christians. Many still practiced the pagan arts while proclaiming faith in Jesus Christ. At times, the religions intermingled.

A Rib From Eve is the story of Malgven. Her maternal heritage was filled with mysticism and worship of the goddess. Her grandmother was Levinia and her mother Malgven. Her father was King Dagobert. As a girl she saw her mother burned at a stake by a crazed monk. Lost in her grief and trauma Malgven withdrew from the world. Her grandmother ,Levinia, nursed and cared for her. Eventually Malgven began to recover from the ordeal. Her grandmother schooled her in the old ways. At her grandfather’s insistence, she was married to an older man. At the death of her husband, King Dagobert, she return home to him. Malgven sat at her father’s left hand; he valued her as an adviser. Malgven was skilled at diplomacy. At her father’s death, she escaped to King Judicael.

A Rib From Eve is beautifully written. Katherine Christensen obviously researched her topic well. The spin of this story brings sympathy to the pagans and shows the corruption of the early church leaders. The first few chapters were a little slow reading; however, I soon became engrossed in the tale. This is not a short book, and I could not put it down. I stayed up most of the night, reading. The characters were well -developed and very strong. The women played much stronger roles at this period than I expected. Much of this history would be lost if it were not for writers like Christensen. Fans of history and romance will enjoy A Rib From Eve.

Becky in Wenatchee

A Rib from Eve is about an amazing line of women living in turbulent times. A friend of mine loaned me her copy - she highly recommended it as an unusual and captivating book. I am adding a copy to my own library as it is a book I will likely pick up and read again and again.

The book paints and amazing backdrop of a world on the verge of civilization, but not quite there yet. Druid mysticism, savage clashes between the Merovingian Kings and their neighbors, Celtic lore, and the tug of a not yet civilized Christian influence, made it hard for me to put this book down.

The main character, Malgven, captured my heart. When her mother is burned for sorcery, her father, King Dagobert, ravages the countryside in revenge. The time Malgven spends with her Grandmother, Levinia, and her wild Saxon cousins was so entertaining. I was delighted with Cantus, one of her young Druid companions, who had a very odd obsession with spiders. As an animal lover, the nature backdrops really connected for me. The romance between Malgven and the King of the Bretons is a real page turner.

What is really unusual for a fiction novel is detailed footnotes in the book. I noticed another reviewer did not care for that, but I think it makes the reading more enjoyable and provides a rich reading experience within a fiction novel based on unusual facts. I could read this book several times and still find something new.

The characters in this novel were brought to vibrant life for me. I highly recommend A Rib From Eve and look forward to the hinted sequel!