Eleven summers after Jan-nell the bowdancer left her daughter Mira-nell with the sisterhood of hunters on the mountain and came to live with Khrin to raise their son, Bearin, she is called by the sisterhood to find their origins.
The first clue is a bit of song Jan-nell learns at the deathbed of the oldest woman in the sisterhood’s village. Jan-nell and her companions seek the origins of the mysterious women on the mountain through the verses of the song.
Master hunter Bekar and master trackfinder Chandro accompany Jan-nell and Bearin on a quest for the lost song that takes them from their local inn out across the landscape of their world as they meet bee spinners and kings and risk their lives to achieve their goal..
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A Fantasy Novel? That's what it says on the back cover of VERSES by Janie Franz, but as I read it, it felt REAL...how could that be? During my many, many years in college I took a lot of classes that had absolutely nothing to do with my dual majors...(I had a LOT of dual majors...just as I have a LOT of degrees.) Having a deep love for ancient history had me taking as many courses as I could that even remotely smacked of ancient cultures...such as Anthropology...and I ADORED my anthropology professor....oh the debates we used to have! One of the cultures we explored was the women known today as the Amazonian women... Reading VERSES reminded me a great deal of what is known of these women and what is BELIEVED to have been true of other all-women civilizations. The first chapter was a little confusing because of the multitude of names, but once I was able to wrap my head around names that weren't always distinguishable between male or female and pinpoint which name belonged to which character, the story took over...and what a rich story it turned out to be. There was a time when cultures were more matrilineal...when the mystery of the feminine reality held the community together in a cohesiveness we've forgotten and/or purposely excised from our societal norms of today. Janie Franz brings it back, center stage in a way that makes you almost wish you could pick up your own dust, brush it all off and trace the past that created the who you are today through the many layers of the ones who came before you. This is a noteworthy story of fiction that feels so true it's almost like my DNA recognizes it as part of my submerged history. Janie Franz speaks with the voice of acquired authority...words passed down from mother to daughter through the ages she's transcribed here for us as fiction...but is it? Is it fiction if you recognize the truth woven into the fabrication? I don't know. What I do know is this is a raw story that touched a part of me lying perhaps dormant...but not forgotten. I highly recommend this book for anyone who "remembers" history...or thinks they do, because this will bring it crashing back upon your psyche and if nothing more, remind you of the rich past the human spirit has forged to get to where we are today. Well done Janie! FIVE STARS are yours.