Friday, November 18, 2011
Michelle Zink's Circle of Fire WARNING! Spoiler!
Circle of Fire is the last installment of the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, and I'm breathless. When I read TPotS, Zink was amazing at building a rather large and complex back story with brevity. I was amazed at how much information could be given with such intensity and even fewer words. Guardian of the Gate is the second installment, and I think this novel is important in understanding the danger of the prophecy, and everyone's role. Zink really played on sibling rivalry, I think, and not just with Alice. Yes, the two were at odds because of their roles in the prophecy, but Lia is also betrayed by another sister, Sonia. After reading Circle of Fire, all I'm left with are certain images in my mind.
I think of the Jorgamund, which is an image of a snake eating its own tail. The shape forms a circle, and I think phrases such as "Circle of Life," and "ending full circle." The prophecy ends at Avebury, where it began. Clearly, the Jorgamund is a symbol for the prophecy's birth and Samael's demise. But I wonder if the image of a snake eating its own tale foreshadows Samael's evil dissolving within itself as Lia closes the gate.
I also think of the Rite at Avebury, and the way Zink described all the necessary preparations. To me, I thought of a wedding. The bride being left alone, with a trusted friend, to prepare herself for the future while the others are making final preparations. They walk in a procession together, dressed in purple robes. In the Roman Catholic church, priests wear purple vestments to symbolize the pain and suffering during the season of Lent. Lia is constantly reminded of the pain and sacrifices she has made in the name of the prophecy, and her fear of giving into evil. Purple was the perfect choice for her!
I knew Alice wasn't such a crazy/cruel/greedy bitch after all. Alice and Lia's childhood didn't revolve around the prophecy, and I knew that Alice really did love her sister. I was so relieved when she came through in the end.
I love to read historical fiction, mostly because I love to visualize lifestyles from another place and time. The nerdy part of me is attracted to language and phrases are are true to the period of the piece. Zink used phrases such as "work in concert" that are not in our everyday vernacular. What I want to know is how an author researches and uses proper dialect in historical writing. It just makes my brain hurt.
Overall, I think The Prophecy of the Sisters is an excellent read. I'm glad to have closure and look forward to reading more of Zink's work.