By Gary Jennings
From Publishers Weekly
In the hole pages of Jennings's ( Aztec ) significant, audacious old novel concerning the Gothic conquest of the Roman Empire, Thorn, the hermaphrodite hero/heroine, is seduced first by means of a monk after which through a nun. Evicted from a monastery and a convent, Thorn is then schooled within the methods of the area through the grumpy, blasphemous woodsman Wyrd. Rugged but delicate, frequently dressed as a guy, Thorn is to elim fragment raptorial (i.e., predatory) in his thirst for enthusiasts, female and male, and for event. He serves as box marshal, sidekick and secret agent for bloody Theodoric (A.D. 454-526), king of the Ostrogoths, depicted the following as a benevolent despot. For all its sexual titillation and gory battles, this majestically paced epic with its unconventional hero regularly rewards because it leads readers via unique byways of the fragmented Roman Empire, delving into pagan customs, Christian mysteries, corruption, slavery and the tolerant Arianism embraced by way of the Goths yet condemned through the Catholic Church as a heresy. during the androgynous Thorn, attuned to the warfare betwen the masculine and female aspects of his nature, Jennings subtly explores the gender-based roles imposed by way of society. Spiced with medieval taste, the radical will captivate readers prepared to devote themselves to an extended, targeted, occasionally ploddingly written yet eventually intoxicating narrative.