The Promethean

Siena College's Student Newspaper

Arts & Entertainment

When Fantasy Meets History

Do you like fantasy? Is historical fiction your thing? What about a mix of the two? The novel “The First Girl Child” is the perfect book for you. Ever wonder if women were so rare that wars were being waged to have them. It all starts with a woman spurned by a man, she is dying and carrying his child. She curses the whole land that there will be no more women. She dies alone in the forest, with no one to hear her exclamation except her brother. Her child is strong; his herculean strength is unmatched and unrivaled. He is considered a man when he turns 14 years old. There is a girl child born within that time to a clan that was next in line for the kingship. Kings are picked from a different clan, each clan is in rotation. A girl child was born within the first few years to a servant girl. The child gets stolen and passed as royalty, even though her mother is a servant. The book is complex in all its history, rules and rituals, however, the traditions are easily explained while you read. This book will pull you into its world and change the way you think. 

Other aspects of the book include a pronunciation guide to ensure that the way you read them is correct. You won’t have to be embarrassed to pronounce them aloud and believe me, some of the names are so difficult that the guide is a necessity. Not all books have those, but it helps to get into the books if you can say their names correctly. The book also consists of mixing of different cultures, specifically, Christianity with the pagan culture of the Vikings. The mixing of the cultures is astonishing at how well they are combined throughout the novel. Even with all this syncretism, the novel is coherent and logical. The magical aspect of the novel is astonishing, there are runes that can control everything from feelings and healing to stopping girls from being born. The novel is highly intense. It is such a mutt of all these combined other genres. I highly recommend that it is added to your reading list. With all the turbulence in today’s world, “The First Girl Child” offers a way to see how cultures can combine the best aspects of themselves to create a coherent culture that benefits the people who take part in it. The novel is very engaging, one of those that you’ll want to binge it faster than a show on Netflix. So hit pause on whatever show you’re currently watching, and open this amazing book that will take you to a land far away and ancient.I would rate this book at a 9.5, although good, at times it’s hard to remember all of the traditions. It’s easy to get lost in, and you will want to be lost in it. Escape the stress of college midterms, assignments, and presentations with this thrilling book. There is no better and more constructive way to escape. Read something that no one will require you to read, choose something that will change your way of thinking.

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