I’m torn about this book, it’s well written and the story is interesting however it was written in the 1960s and it shows. The book is full of sexist language, characters and just overall misogyny that it drove me crazy more often than not. For example, in one part of the book we are told about four characters coming to do battle with our main character and his allies. Three of the four are male and they are describe by their attributes and clothing, the fourth- a female- is described first by her looks and then by one or two of her powers. Because the most important thing about a woman, even a warrior woman is how she looks. In fact the few females in the novel are defined by their beauty (or lack of it) and are mostly there for romantic reasons.
The language used in the book is just as bad; one morning is described as being “pink as the fresh-bitten thigh of a maiden”, it’s very evocative language but it’s also objectifying and off putting. I’m afraid I was so very annoyed by the sexism that I couldn’t really connect with the message of the book at all.
On a side note, this is a re-read for me. I read this book for the first time when I was quite young, seven or eight, and I know several things passed me by. I remember enjoying it a lot then, but I don’t think the novel ages well.