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The Foretelling

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,392 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
This coming-of-age story is the tale of the future leader of the Amazon women warriors. Rain must hold fast to her inner warrior, but she is startled and mystified by the first stirrings of mercy towards the enemy.
Published 2006 by Egmont (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 30, 2016 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
"But I'd made a mistake. I'd let Usha believe she was a horse; she had no idea of her own strength. She'd never fought like a bear before." -Rain, The Foretelling by Alice Hoffman

Hoffman crafted this tale for young adults, but, ultimately, full grown women who love Hoffman will be touched by this small offering and will likely glimpse, understand, and take to heart the takeaway message in a way that teens might not. The takeaway message...? To know your own strength.

Rain, born to an Amazon quee
Jan 25, 2009 Jaemi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Rain is born to her mother out of sorrow. Rather than a joyous event, her birth marks the permanence of the attack her mother suffered caught alone out on the fields. The Priestesses tell Rain she has the strength of all 50 men, but the consolation means little to her, as her mother the Queen will not speak to her.

As queen-to-be of a fierce Amazon tribe, Rain seeks to know all, and excel. She rides her horse until they become one. She rescues a bear cub, and learns to ride it as well. But in see
Jun 28, 2010 Aeslis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Foretelling has a wonderful premise with much mysticism and wonderfully strong women. But the narrative I found strange. While things are at times wonderfully described, I often felt like the story was being summarized for me.

I found each character intriguing, but was eventually disappointed as there seemed to be no growth in anyone but for the main character, Rain. I wanted to know more about Melek and his people, more about Deborah. There were tantalizing tidbits, but no actual depth or di
Tara Chevrestt
Apr 06, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rain is an Amazon and the result of a 50 men pile up upon her mother so it is no great surprise that her mother, the queen, chooses to ignore her presence. That doesn't stop Rain from trying to be the best warrior, rider, and queen in training she can be tho.

She kills men, rides bears, experiences love and loss both while struggling to gain her mother's affections. By the time her mother shows her kindness tho, it may be too late. If her mother will not accept her as a queen, how can Rain expect
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

In this intense yet complicated fantasy story, Rain attempts to gain her mother's notice and acceptance by being the best of warriors in their Amazonian tribe. The product of a rape when her mother, Alina, wasn't much more than a child herself, it is hard to gain the Queen's approval. Although Rain knows that she's been raised by Deborah, the wise priestess, to one day be Queen herself, she also pays attention to Deborah's promises of a much grander destiny.

Aug 02, 2012 Maryanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, loved the writing, the characters and the imagery.

A bit different to my usual fare: although this is a story about Amazon women - and they certainly are immensely strong in physical prowess, will power and determination - it is a story about seeking peace, redemption, love and balance.

This book does have implied and recollected scenes of significant horror - gang rapes and sexual slavery - which were just bearable for this wussy reviewer, but more importantly, may be themes to
Nov 08, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Carol brought this to me along with another Alice Hoffman book, as she is prone to doing from time to time, bless her. I've never read Hoffman but gather that she tells a good love story, so I decided to start with the short, lyrical, young adult book about Amazon warriors who only keep their male captives around when they feel like procreating. The writing was skillful and evocative, and I'm grateful that it didn't devolve into a love story about the warrior heiress who ends up finding her soft ...more
Jul 04, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing

Women warriors.

Girl Power.


The Amazon tribe.








Before starting this book, I had two thoughts: Either this book is going to be surprisingly good, or I'm going to really dislike it. Well, I didn't end up really disliking it, but I certainly didn't love it, either. Or even really like it. Stories of sisterhood kind of nauseate me to begin with because they are more often than not lectures against men, and all of the female characters have major chips on their shoulders and the "I-can-beat-anyone" attitude. I'll give the Author this: her women w ...more
4.5/5.0 stars

I love the looks of this book, so handsome; the color, the layout, the texture and dimension. Oh look, it's got Alice Hoffman's name on it too - I'm sold!
What if a girl could transform a culture of violence into one of peace?

Rain is a girl with a certain destiny, living in an ancient time of blood, raised on mares' milk, nurtured with the strength of a thousand Amazon sisters. A girl of power, stronger than fifty men, she rides her white horse as fierce as a demon.

But then there is
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on a whim. I had never heard of it or of the author, but Chapters was selling it for pennies, so I figured it was worth the risk.

I’m glad I took the chance. It’s a great book. It breaks several of the cardinal rules of writing (telling instead of showing, for an obvious example), but it does it well. The story is interesting and fast-paced, making it a quick read. It would have had to have been hundreds of pages long had Hoffman tried to cover the same amount of ground by “sho
Jul 27, 2009 AlexM rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like Alice Hoffman and really loved some of her works but I found that this one was really bad. I got this on the thought it would be similar to Green Angel but I was wrong. The story starts out really well,this amazon warrior girl Rain belongs to a tribe of amazons and they are at constant war with men and Rain is the daughter of the female chief. If you read the description and the first few chapters you think it is really good but then it starts to go haywire.First since their are no men in ...more
Kasey Jane
This is a beautifully-written retelling of the Amazon myths. It's interesting for the subject matter alone--I've never come across a straight (pardon the pun) take on a female warrior society in a nonmagical setting.

Despite her intended audience, Hoffman doesn't flinch away from hard truths. I loved that sort of thing when I was young--dark, gritty books that secretly bothered me for months--and this short novel will appeal to a certain type of girl. The book's true virtue is its ability blend
May 12, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Women who war against men, slice off a breast so they may become better archers, like black widow spiders, carry on the population with drug induced orgies that often end in the death of their mates, is hard to accept. But, when one considers the fact that women are routinely raped, beaten and mutilated in third world countries and even here in the U.S. it does seem fitting that women should take on the face of the warrior. The heroine Rain, a child of rape, is born into sorrow. In this richly i ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grace Ann Griffin
Recommended to Molly by: Emily Watson
The Fortelling had an unsual atmosphere, tone, and mood that really dipicted the setting and lifestyle of the main character. A young Amazoinan girl, learning to be queen and her life up to that point. The writing style was completely unique from any other I've come accross, when reading. It was almost like the book had really been written by an Amazonian Queen instead of a 21st century author.
Really a good read and exceptional story.
Danielle Palmer
Feb 08, 2016 Danielle Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tale about fierce women warriors, who kept only their female children and tattooed themselves blue, who could ride a horse before they could walk and were as lethal in battle as any man. A quick read, well written, with many themes that seem beyond the realm of young adult fiction (children conceived of rape, forced prostitution, disfigurement, self mutilation). I was drawn into the story quickly and fully, but am a bit surprised it was listed as a young adult book.
Jul 26, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasure to read! The setting of this brief novel is in an ancient pre-historical period among a ficticious tribe of warrior women, possibly [it is hinted] those that gave birth to the legends of the Amazons. Narrated by it's heroine, Rain, it is a "coming of age" story and is remarkable for the authenticity of her voice. Told simply in a stark prose that is powerfully evocative of a barely remembered past, though short you will not easily forget her story.
Apr 04, 2011 Linsey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Foretelling has a wonderful premise to do with strong women. But the narrative I found strange. I often felt like the story was being summarized for me.

This is a book I could have probably done without reading. Not to say it was bad, just not that good.
Dec 26, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-adult
A beautifully written book. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Other than the fact I wish the ending had more to it..
It will keep you thinking about the story long after it's been finished, that's for sure.
Morgan F
I remember this being one of the strangest, most frustrating books I've ever read. I mean all that in the best way possible. I still think about this book sometimes.
Aug 16, 2009 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There have been a few books by Hoffman that I have read and some that I am still trying to get my hands on! (Green Witch seems to be alluding me at every corner!) when I saw this at the library I recognized the cover and a bit of the summary on the back but more from lack of interest when I first saw then an 'oh yeah! I've been wanting to read this!' kind of moment.

I loved every second of it! Part of me is surprised I didn't give it a chance before but the other part is thinking I may not have
Talitha (Victorian Soul)
Full critique available here:

Rating: 3 stars

This is a book I read as a teen, my first Alice Hoffman. You'd think that this is the novel that made me her fan, but I was honestly unimpressed after reading this and rated it accordingly.

The style of this book is a bit hard for me to swallow. At times, it's lyrical and lovely. At other times, it is so choppy and abrupt it hurts my eyes. I also really didn't like that this book was double spaced: if it wasn't do
See the full review and others at:

It's hard to review this book. I wanted it to be different but I don't know exactly how. Alice Hoffman is a strange author and I always find myself interested in her books but not typically reading them. I don't really trust her as an author. I don't think she's pull it together and find the good. She did in this story though and the journey wasn't as harrowing as I thought it would be.

Rain is an interesting character and I th
The first words: "I was born out of sorrow, so my mother named me Rain."

This sets the book up for a short and lyrical coming of age story through the eyes of Rain as one of the legendary Amazon sisters. Rain's birth was anything but joyous because it was born out of gang rape, so her mother shunned her. As she grows she learns everything she can about life of the Amazons. For knowledge is power and she much know how the whole society runs. She excels in horse training and riding and becomes as
Quesion 1) How did I find/choose this book?
-I had choosen a random book on the library shelf because I needed more books for my wide reading. :)

Question 2) Favourite character and why.
-My favourite character was the beautiful queen (Rain's mother) because she was tough like she needed to be and loved many people very much but she never showed it for Rain's sake and also because her people expect her to be hard and tough and they would have turned against her if she showed that she was 'weak'. Sh
Kayli Jorgensen
Sep 08, 2015 Kayli Jorgensen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-420
The book follows Rain, a young Amazon warrior destined to be queen of an all-women civilization. Although she tries to embrace their warrior culture, she is haunted by two things: a foretelling of her future, and a desire to be something different (merciful, loving) than what her society tells her she should be. As she consults with Priestesses throughout the story, becomes sisters with a slave girl, her mare, and a bear, she begins to find herself, and realize that men are no
Dani Chapman
Jun 12, 2016 Dani Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, books-8-15, 2016
Not what I expected, BUT BETTER!

Can Alice Hoffman do no wrong? Nope, she’s perfect and so are her books! As I am reading my way through Alice Hoffman’s novels this one was especially fun! A book not only dedicated to amazon warriors but female warrior of all time. It showed how women have been brutalized throughout history and how banning men, and killing them and living in a tribe of only women is a possible reaction to the violence women throughout time have endured from me. DONT think this is
Apr 26, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2011
I had read this book before, but didn't really remember anything about it. It's a quick read, and I finished it in about a day and a half. I've only read Hoffman's novels for young adults, and the style is somewhat sparse. That's not not a bad thing; it just gives a different feel to the story. It seems more like a story you'd hear sitting around the campfire with the people from the book, which I thought was interesting. It has a mythic, fable-like quality. Hoffman's prose is beautiful and almo ...more
Caitlin Wyatt
Feb 17, 2010 Caitlin Wyatt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Well this book is a very quick read and I finished it in a few hours. Its a beautiful story and unlike anything I have ever read. Rain is the Queen to Be in an Amazon type kingdom all women.. warrior women. They destroy men and use them only for mating. Rain's mother is the Queen and she can't stand Rain because she is a product of rape. Rain can't help it but that doesn't stop her from feeling horrible. Rain is very confused because she starts feeling things and thinking things she shouldn't. I ...more
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Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York ...more
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