Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Firebrand” as Want to Read:
The Firebrand
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Firebrand

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  8,043 Ratings  ·  340 Reviews
Blending archaeological fact and legend, the myths of the gods and the feats of heroes, Marion Zimmer Bradley breathes new life into the classic tale of the Trojan War-reinventing larger-than-life figures as living people engaged in a desperate struggle that dooms both the victors and the vanquished, their fate seen through the eyes of Kassandra-priestess, princess, and pa ...more
ebook, 624 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Roc (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Firebrand, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Firebrand

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 12, 2012 shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes I think this "star" system is faulty. I gave this book five stars because I absolutely adore it and have read it 8329432423 times, but I'm not sure it's actually that good. All I know is that as a classical history nut who spent all her college years (and two post-grad years) studying ancient history, i go all heart-eyes for this book. it's the Trojan War told through the eyes of the women, and i love it because my favorite characters have always been the women -- Kassandra, Andromache ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who value imagery more than character development
Shelves: 2010, cover-lust
I had a really hard time getting through this book. Which was surprising to me for two reasons. First, I loved Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon," and second, I love the legend of the Trojan War and have read numerous other books on the subject and Cassandra has always been an intriguing character for me. So, when I picked up this book, I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it.

Sadly however, I was left disappointed. Now don't get me wrong, the ancient world that Zimmer Bradley create
Kerry Hennigan
Aug 02, 2011 Kerry Hennigan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Firebrand” many years ago, and have just finished the latest of many re-reads of this epic novel of the Trojan War.

As with her famous “Mists of Avalon” which told the story of Arthur and Camelot from the perspective of the women in the story, so too does The Firebrand cover this famous Bronze Age tale from the point of view of the principle females involved.

Most specifically this is Kassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy and Queen Hecuba, sister of Pr
Lucinda Elliot
Apr 10, 2011 Lucinda Elliot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who love Ancient History novels
Recommended to Lucinda by: anonymous
This hook is written from the perspective of Kassandra, and shows a Trojan war from the female point of view, a terrible and avoidable catastrophe leading to degradation and mass slaughter, rape and the destruction of innoents.

Hector and the other warriers are deluded in their male notions of honour and glory, Agamemnon a brutal destroyer, Akhilles more or less a psychopath, finally toppled by the death of Patrokoles into madness,capable finally of a terrible act of necrophylia.

Of the women, He
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Firebrand is an excellent book, and one that I look forward to rereading again at some point in time. This novel, at just over 600 pages, tells the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of Kassandra the Prophetess, one of the daughters of Priam and Hecuba, the king and queen of Troy. Zimmer Bradley does a terrific job of incorporating the commonly accepted mythological elements of all of the major characters in the novel, including several of the gods and godde ...more
The Firebrand is the the story of the Trojan War told from the perspective of Kassandra. Kassandra is a princess of troy who has the gift of prophecy but the curse that she is never believed. I loved the spin that Bradley put on the famous story and its characters. I like how she was able to have fantasy elements, such as the Gods being real with the ability to take over a person's body when they want to directly influence events and Kassandra's true visions, yet she made some other aspects of t ...more
Mar 16, 2016 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting re-telling of the fall of Troy from the point of view of Kassandra - a priestess and princess of Troy.

The book makes a massive amount of the fact that many of the main characters are female. Actually, what the book is really about is the different ways that women relate to men and to each other. This provides some food for thought, but is spoiled quite a lot by not being very nuanced in its portrayals. There are a lot of absolute statements made, and portrayal of extremes, without mu
Mar Lencaster
Tão lindoo!! :'( *tears*

Comentário decente aparecerá futuramente!
Dec 13, 2010 Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book started with an interesting premise, weaving in the myths of greece in a tale of real lives, but soemthing wasn't working for me. I got about half way through the book before I figured it out. The main character, and all the charachters, actually, are not logical, in that the author makes them do things and have reactions that aren't true to their characters, just to move the story along. They don't stay true to how she originally portrays them to be and it makes it confusing for the r ...more
Marion Zimmer Bradley rewrote the Arthurian legends from a feminist perspective in The Mists of Avalon; Ursula K. Le Guin did it for the Aeneid in Lavinia. While this isn't terrible, both of those books were more successful than this one.

In the frame to this story, an aged Kassandra insists that a bard is telling the story of the fall of Troy is all wrong--in the previous generation, women had ruled cities and lived in harmony with the Goddess and everything was hugs and puppies until men totall
Kagama-the Literaturevixen

Ive always been a little leery about this book and her other works. In this for example a character spoiler: (view spoiler)
Credo sia evidente che ho una passione per la classicità (greca in particolare). Sono incappata nella trama di questo libro per caso, e ho pensato "perché no?". Ora posso tranquillamente dire "ma anche no!".
Capisco l'intento dell'autrice di dar rilievo alle figure femminili in una cornice come quella dell'Iliade (in cui hanno più intelletto e libertà i cavalli), ma il risultato è per me disastroso. Cassandra è una figura tragica in senso classico, che poco si presta ad esser rivisitata in chiav
Patricia Ferreira
Good book, very entertaining and also teaches about the myths involving the war on Troy.
Nov 06, 2015 Bloodymaggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Irritatingly inaccurate, not that we know the truth of the story. Hecuba and ex-Amazon? Kassandra kills Achilles thanks to her training as an Amazon? I don't understand the attraction to the person who recommended it and am thoroughly unimpressed with the writing of an author of whom several of my friends are fans.
Kate E
Apr 01, 2016 Kate E rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting retelling of the Trojan War from the women's perspective. My only complaint is Bradley's heavy-handed treatment of feminism - everything would be better if only women were in charge, there should be no gods, only goddesses, etc. I would have liked there to be a bit more balance. Oh, and I didn't like how rushed the last 2 chapters were. After such extensive description of everything leading up to the sack of Troy, Bradley would have done better to have expanded the Epilogue into i ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Futers
There was a lot of enjoyable material in this book but it fails essentially on the point of evoking the period.

I'm not saying that there was never a time that women ruled cities - there is evidence from a very early Neolithic settlement in Turkey that suggests that it may have been inhabited mostly by women and that men may have been visitors at but have spent most of their year either as herders or as hunters.

That however, was the Neolithic. The site usually identified as Troy is very much a Br
Jan 31, 2009 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm always up for an alternate point of view story, and Cassandra/Kassandra is a character from the story of the Trojan War who has the potential to be very interesting - a prophetess whose words are believed by no one. Unfortunately, Bradley likes to bludgeon the reader with her particular brand of feminism, i.e., things were better in that mythical time when everyone worshiped the Earth Mother, and woman should be free to take on consorts as they please, since men are all such jerks anyway. Bl ...more
Quem não conhece Marion Zimmer Bradley? Quem não ouviu falar da sua forma de recontar uma história conhecida à sua maneira e torná-la única? Quase ninguém, em todo o mundo. Mesmo para quem não tenha lido a sua obra esta senhora da fantasia e do movimento feminista não é desconhecida. Há anos que ouço falar dela e quero ler a sua obra.
E quando as oportunidades surgem há que agarrá-las. Foi o que eu fiz quando o meu professor de Religião e Mitologia Grega nos pediu para fazer um trabalho sobre a
"The Firebrand" of the title is Paris of Troy whose actions provide the impetus that unleashes a storm leading to the fall and conflagration of his city. His twin sister Cassandra - or Kassandra in this telling - is a prophetess who foresees the doom that her brother will bring but is unable to do anything to stop it.

(Note: The author renders Greek proper names that we are used to seeing spelled with a "C" to be "K" instead. Thus, Achaian is Akhaian, Achilles is Akhilles, Mycenae is Mykenae, and
Jun 02, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Marion Zimmer Bradley has taken on a different myth with this book. She’s moved from her normal home of Avalon and the British Isles to the ancient city of Troy. This book focuses on the Princess Cassandra (in the novel spelled “Kassandra”) – daughter of the Amazon Hecuba and King Priam. In mythology, Kassandra was crazy – prophesying doom at every corner, with no one ever believing her. Bradley has chosen to look at this a different way – her usual feminist/goddess worshipping way. Kassandra’s ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Sakura87 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Tu conosci una sola canzone, Cassandra: fiamme e lutto per Troia, e la canti di continuo, come un menestrello che non conosce altro…"

La guerra di Troia vista da occhi femminili che scrutano fin troppo lontano: Cassandra, la profetessa condannata a predire il futuro e a non essere mai creduta.
Figlia di Priamo ed Ecuba e (la Bradley si concede la sua prima deviazione rispetto alle versioni del mito) sorella gemella di Paride, Cassandra è la voce narrante, sia pure in terza persona, della lunga st
Nicole N.
I really wanted to like this more than I didn't. I was ready to dive into the fantasy world of Bradley especially after reading two of her "modern" novels, Ghostlight and Witchlight.

Bradley really has a knack for details that I just adore. She has the ability to create such world in your head and for me, it plays out flawlessly like a movie when I read her books.

This particulate novel is about Kassandra, the infamous priestess and princess of Troy who was cursed to speak prophecy but never be b
Jun 07, 2010 Tita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus, livros-2010
Quem me conhece sabe que As Brumas de Avalon são uns dos meus livros preferidos e tinha bastante curiosidade em saber como Marion Zimmer Bradley tinha recriado a história de Tróia através de Cassandra. Assim, aproveitei comprar o livro na Hora H.

Em Presságio de Fogo, a história vai-se desenrolando através de Cassandra, uma princesa troiana com o dom da profecia, mas apesar das suas visões, os que a rodeiam não acreditam no seu dom.
A história começa com o nascimento de Cassandra e Páris, gémeos,
Sep 24, 2014 Noelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of history,cult practices, and human struggle, Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Firebrand is an original take on a well known Greek classic, The Iliad. With creative historical interpretations and powerful language, Bradley creates characters and a mythology unique to her. She creativly balances what is known of the Illiad and the realism involved with the people and practices of ancient Greece and it's her acute sense of detail that sets her book apart from others of the genre. Bradley cleverly ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went to the library in search of another of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Books of Avalon and I came home with The Firebrand. This is the story of the Trojan War told through the eyes of Kassandra, one of the princesses who has been portrayed as insane in many versions of the legend. I really liked this book and the different twists that it gave to the legend. It is interesting how many of the women characters appear to live a pretty idle life and be at the disposal of the men in the story, but in r ...more
Aaron Carson
Dec 01, 2012 Aaron Carson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this some years after The Mists of Avalon. I gobbled it up avidly enough, but it must be admitted that it was basically The Mists of Avalon in a Hellenic setting.

I could easily recognise the personalities of Viviane in Queen Penthiselea, Morgaine in Kassandra, and to some extent, Queen Morgause in Queen Imandra of Colchis.

Probably my favourite part of the book, was the time Kassandra spends at Queen Imandra's court when she is inducted into the cult of "Serpant Mother", which I assumed
Aug 14, 2010 Tawny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books. I've read it at least 5 or 6 times. I will read almost any book that deals with the Trojan War but I haven't always enjoyed them, I think because they either tend to dwell heavily on the war or Helen. This book takes on the viewpoint of Cassandra, a truly interesting character. In the Illiad and other myths she is beautiful but insane. While Zimmer Bradley continues this idea her Cassandra is never portrayed with wringing hands and wild hair, going on hysterica ...more
Max Bolongaita
Apr 01, 2012 Max Bolongaita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was in High school. I accidentally came across the Hardbound version of it tucked somewhere obscurely in the fiction section.

Immediately after the first few pages I knew I was in love and it was magical since I was already a Greek Myth die-hard at the time and I fancied the Amazon women (being from an all girls institution) this book just...well it took my breath away. Marion Zimmer Bradley is a fantastic writer. I laughed, cried and felt the pain of Kassandra and the people
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading Through T...: March 2015 Read: "The Firebrand" 3 7 Mar 26, 2015 09:53AM  
  • Ravens of Avalon (Avalon #6)
  • Lady of the Forest
  • Daughter of Troy: A Magnificent Saga of Courage, Betrayal, Devotion, and Destiny
  • Druids
  • Rhinegold
  • The Light Bearer
  • Guardians of the Tall Stones
  • Cassandra (Delphic Women, #2)
  • Alamut (Alamut, #1)
  • The Songs of the Kings
  • The Moon Under Her Feet
  • Across the Nightingale Floor, Episode 1: The Sword of the Warrior (Tales of the Otori, #1 Ep. 1)
  • Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)
  • The Song of Troy
  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea (Hellenic Traders, #1)
  • Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters, #3)
  • La reine soleil
Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, often with a feminist outlook.

Bradley's first published novel-length work was Falcons of Narabedla, first published in the May 1957 issue of Other Worlds. When she was a child, Bradley stated that she enjoyed reading adventure fantasy authors such as Henry Kuttner, Edmond Ham
More about Marion Zimmer Bradley...

Share This Book

“Customs have no reason; they simply are.” 5 likes
“Perché lei riusciva a capire quel che non capivano i suoi genitori? Non avrebbero dovuto essere più saggi di lei? Era spaventoso che non lo fossero.” 0 likes
More quotes…