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(Book #1 in the Beklan Empire Series)

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Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

i didn’t see within the description that this was a broken book and it had no slipcover. i would hav

i read this story when i was younger and wished to revisit ~

Epic complexity and beauty illuminate this masterpiece

Adams's Maia rivals the "greats" in its ability to create an entire world of believable characters, religions, and politics. The complex world in which the novel's action takes place is breath-taking. The novel actually serves as a prequel to Adams' previous endeavor, Shardik (itself an underrated and beautiful work), but Adams takes his Beklan Empire to new levels of epic sophistication with the introduction of the naive and good-hearted Maia; the grotesque and unforgettable Sencho; the wise and gutsy Occula; and the erotic, ambitious, and evil Fornis. Perhaps the only works of fiction more encompassing and completely original in their creation of an entirely new reality are Frank Herbert's Dune novels; however, Adams work maintains a beauty and sensitivity that is lacking in those science fiction giants. Overall I have to rank Maia as one of my all-time favorite works of fiction. I have read it three times and have to stop myself from picking it up again too soon in order to preserve the rewarding pleasure I receive from reentering Adams amazing world.

My #1 favorite book since 1987

I first read this book in 1987, and although I have read hundreds of fantasy novels since, it is and probably always shall remain my absolute favorite. Over the past twelve years I have worn out two paperback versions and recently broke the binding on a hardcover copy. It's good enough to read over and over again, and you always find something new and fresh with every read. Adams' characterizations are amazing and skillful; no one who has ever encountered the characters of Maia, Occula, or Elvair-ka-Virron will ever forget them. Adams uses subtle tricks in his writing that elude your notice through several readings; I only recently noticed that one trick he employs to give the reader psychic distance from the character of Sencho is that in all the chapters where Sencho appears, Sencho only speaks about four words directly. In all other encounters, Sencho's words are muffled -- such as "he indicated he wanted to see the woman" rather than any direct words on his part. Adams' work is not only a good read, it's a wonderful lesson in the craft of writing. A supposed sequel to SHARDIK, MAIA is a more developed and mature work; it's hard to believe that she and her world are fictional, rather than part of our own history.

An epic story about a slave girl's odyssey in Bekla.

This is an absolutely amazing novel about a beautiful peasant girl, Maia, who is sold into slavery and becomes a concubine in the household of the High Counselor of the Leopard regime. The Leopards are the upper ruling class of the semi-barbaric Beklan empire, an ancient, beautiful, and sometimes deadly city. Along the way, Maia is befriended by Occula, an exotic slave girl, and unwittingly becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the Leopard regime. This book combines political intrigue, a quest for identity, a struggle for freedom, and this remarkable girl's search for her one true love, Zen-Kurel. Richard Adams is a master storyteller, and reading one of his works is like "being woven into a tapestry". His descriptions of the Beklan empire, his intricate plot lines, his attention to detail, and his use of subtle humor, all make this a story worth reading, and one you'll come back to time and again.
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