Secrets of the Ancient Goddess

Secrets of the Ancient Goddess

by Brenda Gates Smith

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)



In the prehistoric land of what is now Turkey, the young beautiful mate of the high priest of the Goddess is exiled from her people for giving birth to her second deformed son. In order to survive, she must help the high priest in his scheme to abduct a priestess from a band of nomadic traders. This is the triumphant story of two women--one who finds honor within another culture, and the other who endures to return home after a brutal separation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451195470
Publisher: Signet
Publication date: 02/01/1999
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.04(d)

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Secrets of the Ancient Goddess 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where B.G. Smith has done well is in writing a book which, while steeped in gynocentric mythology and ritual and obviously designed for a predominantly female readership, also has sufficient adventure, powerful male characters, and graphic but not gratuitous sex, to interest the typical male reader. Smith has also done well in not writing a rambling 'fat novel' for her first effort, though she does pack a lot of material into the book. She has kept the story down to two main plot lines and avoided lengthy tangents. While their themes are extremely different, the succinctness of her writing reminds me of Richard Matheson, whose novels and short stories, while evocative, are very efficient in their use of words. In Matheson's case, this is likely linked to his years of screenplay writing where text must be cut to the bone. Similarly in Smith's work, her years of writing advertising copy have served her well in creating a work that reads quickly and fluidly without being exempt of emotion and panorama. Where Secrets of the Ancient Goddess is a bit weak is in its 'Hollywood realism.' It does seem that Smith has researched the era of which she writes in some detail. However, while never stated outright, one gets the impression that however grim the circumstances, the women all have their hair done and the men are each wearing their best shiny sword. Undramatic things like epidemic diseases, endoparasitism, the constant drudgery of hunting and gathering, the lack of basic sanitation and anything but the most rudimentary medicine, and the resultant short life expectancies of the neolithic people are so many things that are glossed over for the sake of the story. There are plenty of brutal killings and rapes and the like, but these are the sorts of plot devices that while perhaps realistic in the context, also simply play well for shock value. On the other hand, the depiction of the characters' evolving response to events in a psycho-theological context is fairly well done, though given the absence of written documents from this era, our recreations of ancient religions are guesses at best. Overall, Secrets of the Ancient Goddess is a solid first novel. The prehistoric novel is certainly a writing niche occupied by a limited number of authors, so B.G. Smith should easily be able to continue in this literary form. The plotting and feel of the novel will appeal more to a female readership, but should not leave men unsatisfied. Besides, if some of us can't take the new female prehistoric heroines we can always go and rent Encino Man.
Rubygarnet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the only book set in Catal Huyuk I've ever found. It's kind of cheesy, but good fun.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Secrets of Ancient Women? Perhaps I read the sequel to this many years ago; now I've finally gotten around to the first novel. Basically it's a tale of two strangers. Yana has been an outcast since before she was born. First her mother, who was supposed to be a priestess and mate with the head priest, instead mated with someone else during the spring festival rituals. Then Yana's mother died. Eventually, Yana was mated to the man who should have been her father, and then bore a stillborn child, then a clubfooted one. To save her baby's life, she has to leave her home village and takes up with a band of traders, who are grateful that she can nurse a baby who recently lost her own mother. But will she be accepted when they enter the home village, or cast out again? Henne, priestess-to-be who is traveling with the band of traders from her home village, ends up kidnapped by the horsemen who worship the Sky God. She may be a slave, or she may be a woman of rack, depending upon her ability to convince the leader and others of the band of her powers. Both women, and their stories, are compelling, interesting, the same yet very different. Is this what was truly occurring in the cradle of civilization, circa 5700 BC? Could be, and in any event, it gives a wonderful look at village life, when cultivation of crops and herds were in their infancy. Well-written, occasionally sexy, and while there is a sequel, this works well as a stand-alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books. I love historical fiction and this is one of the best I've read so far. I would suggest it to anyone who likes a book filled with adventure, drama, and thrill. the author makes the charcters come to life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put the book down. Its was a wonderful fiction on Yana and the ancient rituals,daily life, and relationships. I enjoy reading about historical fiction related to magic. I would suggest this to anyone who enjoys historical dramas.