Bitsy's Reviews > Sound of a Silver Horn

Sound of a Silver Horn by Kathleen Noble
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Mar 18, 10

bookshelves: non-fiction

In popular mythology there are stories and legends aplenty about great heroes who go on quests and, after facing overwhelming odds, return home victorious. These heroes continue their stories throughout the ages, of men who face dragons, fight for what they believe in, and change the times they live in whether for the better or the worse. In The Sound of a Silver Horn a question is posed, why are there no such heroes for women? Why isn’t there a “female hero” to journey alone, to face great odds, to change things? Why, when asked to name such a woman, can we only name a few, and only a very small number of them real?

So much feminist literature is hateful towards the male gender or harps about what keeps women from being fully human, fully real, fully heroic. This book is more empowering about what women can do to change themselves, to become a "female hero" in their own lives. It gives examples of modern day, contemporary female heroes dealing with struggles, quests, and transformations in that special way that only women can.

I especially enjoyed the linear fashion the book took, piecing apart the standard arc of a hero's journey and showing how women have done it in their own way and in their own circumstances. It covers how the journey begins, the call to awaken, facing the dragons of initiation, gaining allies, and of course the transformation and victorious return.

The only reason this book lost a star is because there was one section that, had it been closer to the front of the book, might have prevented me from being able to finish it. The section goes into the belief of spirituality, of having visions and dreams that foretell your own future, and of listening to them when making major life decisions. I am not a spiritualist and so found this advice, located towards the end and in one small section, to not gel at all with my world view. In fact, I found it so far fetched that I nearly stopped reading right there, even being so close to the end.

Throughout the rest of the book, the examples of heroism, positive messages, and encouragement on the quest to transform into better women was empowering and thought provoking to read about. I enjoyed the book a lot and would recommend it to women looking for examples of "female heroes" who succeeded where they now tread as a light of hope to help them, and empower them, to complete their own quests, wherever they might lead.
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Quotes Bitsy Liked

“As I researched the history of the heroine it became painfully clear to me that women have had little hand in creating our own heroic myths. Indeed, as Sarah Pomeroy has shown, "[t]he mythology about women is created by men and, in a culture dominated by men, it may have little to do with flesh-and-blood women." And it became equally clear that we will be enclosed by the boundaries of this mythology's limited vision until we begin to create our own.”
Kathleen Noble, Sound of a Silver Horn


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