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From ancient Greece they came, remnants of the glorious Trojans. Led by Brutus, Kingman, holder of the bands of gold that wield the very magic of the Gods, these travelers are bowed but not broken, and they have come to Albion to begin anew. A vision of beauty called them to create a new Troy, and when they landed on the shores of the land that became Britain, they found a From ancient Greece they came, remnants of the glorious Trojans. Led by Brutus, Kingman, holder of the bands of gold that wield the very magic of the Gods, these travelers are bowed but not broken, and they have come to Albion to begin anew. A vision of beauty called them to create a new Troy, and when they landed on the shores of the land that became Britain, they found an old magic that was fading. And so they began to construct a new Labyrinth, a place of magic that will bring unimaginable power to those who can control it. The temptress who brought Brutus to this land seeks to use him for her own purposes, but in that she fails, for it is the bride of Brutus who dooms the completion of the labyrinth . . . and sends all the players in this drama--handsome Brutus, his beautiful wife, Cornelia, and the sensuous and deadly Genvissa--into a hell of death and rebirth, until the Labyrinth is completed and the ancient magic is set free. A thousand years pass. Cathedrals rise in place of mud and wattle huts, hymns to saints replace odes to Celtic and Greek gods. But the magic from the dawn of time waits, and the players are not yet done with their destinies. They have new faces and new bodies, but old souls---and not all who have come back remember their parts in this drama. There are kings and princes, deadly court intrigues, and ancient powers awoken. And a warrior across the sea who only waits for his opportunity to finish what was started centuries before . . .


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From ancient Greece they came, remnants of the glorious Trojans. Led by Brutus, Kingman, holder of the bands of gold that wield the very magic of the Gods, these travelers are bowed but not broken, and they have come to Albion to begin anew. A vision of beauty called them to create a new Troy, and when they landed on the shores of the land that became Britain, they found a From ancient Greece they came, remnants of the glorious Trojans. Led by Brutus, Kingman, holder of the bands of gold that wield the very magic of the Gods, these travelers are bowed but not broken, and they have come to Albion to begin anew. A vision of beauty called them to create a new Troy, and when they landed on the shores of the land that became Britain, they found an old magic that was fading. And so they began to construct a new Labyrinth, a place of magic that will bring unimaginable power to those who can control it. The temptress who brought Brutus to this land seeks to use him for her own purposes, but in that she fails, for it is the bride of Brutus who dooms the completion of the labyrinth . . . and sends all the players in this drama--handsome Brutus, his beautiful wife, Cornelia, and the sensuous and deadly Genvissa--into a hell of death and rebirth, until the Labyrinth is completed and the ancient magic is set free. A thousand years pass. Cathedrals rise in place of mud and wattle huts, hymns to saints replace odes to Celtic and Greek gods. But the magic from the dawn of time waits, and the players are not yet done with their destinies. They have new faces and new bodies, but old souls---and not all who have come back remember their parts in this drama. There are kings and princes, deadly court intrigues, and ancient powers awoken. And a warrior across the sea who only waits for his opportunity to finish what was started centuries before . . .

30 review for Gods' Concubine

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    God's Concubine is the second entrancing novel in Sara Douglass' quartet: The Troy Game. Closely following the events of Hades Daughter, God's Concubine is set two thousand years after Brutus and Genvissa's thwarted attempt to close the Labyrinth and gain the ultimate immortality. It is the first time since their original lives that the malicious Asterion has allowed those bound by the Game to return. God's Concubine is set during the reign of Edward the Confessor and a familiar cast appear in un God's Concubine is the second entrancing novel in Sara Douglass' quartet: The Troy Game. Closely following the events of Hades Daughter, God's Concubine is set two thousand years after Brutus and Genvissa's thwarted attempt to close the Labyrinth and gain the ultimate immortality. It is the first time since their original lives that the malicious Asterion has allowed those bound by the Game to return. God's Concubine is set during the reign of Edward the Confessor and a familiar cast appear in unexpected places. Cornelia, now Caela, is the chaste virginal wife of King Edward, while Genvissa lurks as the beautiful Swanne, wife to Caela's brother Harold Godswine, Coel reborn. Meanwhile, across the waters, William of Normandy plans his invasion, and will once again be crowned King of England as Brutus was two thousand years earlier. Others familiar characters are reborn to aid, or disrupt the Game's progression; Loth returns as Seaweald, royal physician and lover of Judith, Mother Erith reborn; Mother Ecub returns as herself, now the prioress of Saint Margaret (affectionately known as St Mags); and Asterion arrives in all his malevolent glory. Once again Douglass has chosen a significant, and tumultuous, time in history. Spanning the last 15 years of King Edward's reign, and the following year of war, Douglass draws the reader into the true history of our world. Her attention to detail, from sexless marriage of Edward and his wife, to the support of Harold Godswinson for the crown, keeps the reader riveted. Unlike the historical, or rather mythological, details of Hade's Daughter, the Norman invasion of England is an accepted part of history. The reader knows, or can investigate, how events unfold. What makes God's Concubine interesting is how the events unfold within history; how Caela and William interact outside our knowledge of history. Caela (Cornelia reborn) is a much stronger and more mature character than Cornelia ever was. Prior to awakening to her past memories, Caela is strong but too timid to present herself. The mixed memories and strengths of Cornelia and Caela give her a potency that was missing in Hade's Daughter. Genvissa is as spiteful as Swanne, and her lust for William and for power has not faded. However, her own strengths, as MagaLan and as Mistress of the Labyrinth has faded with rebirth. Interestingly, Swanne lacks many of the advantages Genvissa had as a woman and must play wife until William returns to complete the game with her. William is staggeringly different to his Trojan counterpart. Where Brutus was all action, and power, William allows time for thought and emotion. William learns to regret Brutus' brusque and hateful nature and slowly begins understanding more about the Game and it's participants. The secondary, and present day, storyline following Major Jack Skelton and his reborn companies unrolls slowly, preparing the reader for the final book while foreshadowing certain events in the main story. God's Concubine is the thrilling second instalment of the Troy Games; the adventure that began with Hade's Daughter and continue's in Darkwitch Rising.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tellulah Darling

    This series is like a giant soap opera occurring through time with a cast of recurring characters. And I dunno, but I'm having a hell of a lot of fun reading it. It merges Greek mythology with history, and a very liberal dash of sex and violence. Life changing? Nope. Completely enjoyable? Absolutely. It's epic fantasy and one of those reads I think you'll either just embrace or find very quickly that it's not for you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the second book in "The Troy Game" series. If anything, I liked it even better than the first. The characters mature and develop throughout the story, giving them depth and a feeling of reality. The story is set in the time of William the Conquerer, with Brutus being reincarnated as William. Cornelia is reborn as Caela, virgin queen to King Edward. Many other characters come back also. Genvissa is the alluring Swanne. The book tells the story of how the Game has changed in the 2000 years This is the second book in "The Troy Game" series. If anything, I liked it even better than the first. The characters mature and develop throughout the story, giving them depth and a feeling of reality. The story is set in the time of William the Conquerer, with Brutus being reincarnated as William. Cornelia is reborn as Caela, virgin queen to King Edward. Many other characters come back also. Genvissa is the alluring Swanne. The book tells the story of how the Game has changed in the 2000 years since it began. There is still a parallel story running through the books which is set in the 1900s, during the start of WWII. And, the book is also filled with plenty of sensual situations. I've ordered the next book in the series. These really pull you in.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Luciole

    So, this book was way better than the previous! The plot thickens, the characters reactions deepen and evolve, to become more subtle, less cliché. And, to crown it all, it takes place both in England and in France ! I enjoyed the re-write of History, peppered with Magic, curses and old believes. So in this book, you will meet the original characters of the Troy Game from the first book, along with new characters, who add more interest to the storyline. Here is the blurb : We meet up with Cor So, this book was way better than the previous! The plot thickens, the characters reactions deepen and evolve, to become more subtle, less cliché. And, to crown it all, it takes place both in England and in France ! I enjoyed the re-write of History, peppered with Magic, curses and old believes. So in this book, you will meet the original characters of the Troy Game from the first book, along with new characters, who add more interest to the storyline. Here is the blurb : We meet up with Cornelia, Brutus and Genvissa-reborn, along with few of their entourage from the first book, in the late 16’s. William-Brutus is stuck in France, while Caela-Cornelia is the Queen of England, wedded to Edward the Confessor. But she doesn’t remember anything from her past life. Will her faithful friends help her fulfill the destiny she’s bound to ? And will Swanne-Genvissa and William be able to complete the Game, before Asterion claims what is his ? Indeed, we learn that the Minotaur directed everyone’s rebirth, which makes him one step ahead of the game. In the end, will it be enough to be one step ahead the Game ? (yup, pun intended). I recommend this book, and found worth the reading of the first one, to enjoy this second one. I expect the third volume to densify and bring us closer to the 1939 area. Can’t wait to start it !

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Gods' Concubine is the second book in Douglass' 'Troy Game' series, and it was definitely more engaging and enjoyable than the first. This time around, a thousand years have passed, and the characters we met in the first book have been reborn into the age of William the Conqueror. In fact, Brutus is William himself and Cornelia is the queen of England, wife to Edward the Confessor. Coel is reborn as Harold Godwinson (Harold II) and in a cruel twist of fate, Genvissa has been reborn as Harold's w Gods' Concubine is the second book in Douglass' 'Troy Game' series, and it was definitely more engaging and enjoyable than the first. This time around, a thousand years have passed, and the characters we met in the first book have been reborn into the age of William the Conqueror. In fact, Brutus is William himself and Cornelia is the queen of England, wife to Edward the Confessor. Coel is reborn as Harold Godwinson (Harold II) and in a cruel twist of fate, Genvissa has been reborn as Harold's wife. Other characters from the first book are also reborn and find themselves drawn once again into the struggle for control over the Troy Game, which has itself been lying and waiting for a thousand years. This combination of fantasy and historical fiction is an intriguing way of presenting a time period in history. The reader is left guessing, and possibly researching further, as to which details are real and documented and which are purely the product of the author's vivid imagination.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Things start to get weirder in this book. By that I mean we are introduced to the Fairy world and the Troy Game itself starts to take up a life of its own. Our main players have all been reborn. Cornelia reborn has found she has been reborn with a bit extra to her. Brutus has been reborn as William the conqueror and has to fight his way back to England. Overall I like the plot. The story is still working itself out. I feel like there are some gratuitous sex scenes and violence that really may no Things start to get weirder in this book. By that I mean we are introduced to the Fairy world and the Troy Game itself starts to take up a life of its own. Our main players have all been reborn. Cornelia reborn has found she has been reborn with a bit extra to her. Brutus has been reborn as William the conqueror and has to fight his way back to England. Overall I like the plot. The story is still working itself out. I feel like there are some gratuitous sex scenes and violence that really may not have needed to be there. It gets worse in the next book as far as gratuitous sex, however so I didn't let it detract from my rating.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    Trashy covers and ridiculous titles ("God's Concubine"? puhlease) predisposed me to discount these, but their emphasis on character development, and the healthy splashes of almost-realistic history, made me like them despite myself. There *are* some trashy bits--the sex scenes are by and large romance-novel-y, and sometimes the female characters get locked into the "strong, beautiful, and quietly commanding" niche. Regardless, I find myself excited about reading the third and final novel, which Trashy covers and ridiculous titles ("God's Concubine"? puhlease) predisposed me to discount these, but their emphasis on character development, and the healthy splashes of almost-realistic history, made me like them despite myself. There *are* some trashy bits--the sex scenes are by and large romance-novel-y, and sometimes the female characters get locked into the "strong, beautiful, and quietly commanding" niche. Regardless, I find myself excited about reading the third and final novel, which promises to answer the question of who has survived through the centuries--and who will triumph.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jasmyn

    A fantastic second book in The Troy Game series. All the players are re-born in the mid 1000's in England - and they all have an agenda, especially Asterion. As characters develop and evolve we get to see how not even a soul must always remain the same. While some make the decision to stay the same, many others make the decision to grow beyond their previous life's hatreds and desires and move forward towards a greater goal. With quite a surprise at the conclusion that left me shocked and hardly A fantastic second book in The Troy Game series. All the players are re-born in the mid 1000's in England - and they all have an agenda, especially Asterion. As characters develop and evolve we get to see how not even a soul must always remain the same. While some make the decision to stay the same, many others make the decision to grow beyond their previous life's hatreds and desires and move forward towards a greater goal. With quite a surprise at the conclusion that left me shocked and hardly able to wait to pick up book 3.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Sara Douglass is remarkably easy to read. The story flows, and kept engaging me every time I picked it up, often difficult to put down. I don't normally read fantasy, so this is high praise from me. I'm now on to #3 and busting to know the new identities of the characters in this volume of a story that spans millennia, returning to different eras of London. Right - close the laptop lid. Got to read on...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Darcy Delany

    The second book of this brilliant series. The heroine finds her strength is this book, about time, too! Highly addictive.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    5 Stars God's Concubine is the second book in The Troy Game series by Sara Douglass. Part of my 2019 reading challenge was to read an Australian author- well how do I narrow that down, there are so many great Aussie authors, but Ms. Douglass was one of the first Aussie authors whose work I fell in love with. I have devoured everything she had ever written and was devastated when she lost her battle with cancer back in 2011. Her books really stuck with me over time, and I don’t revisit them as oft 5 Stars God's Concubine is the second book in The Troy Game series by Sara Douglass. Part of my 2019 reading challenge was to read an Australian author- well how do I narrow that down, there are so many great Aussie authors, but Ms. Douglass was one of the first Aussie authors whose work I fell in love with. I have devoured everything she had ever written and was devastated when she lost her battle with cancer back in 2011. Her books really stuck with me over time, and I don’t revisit them as often as I’d like. The last few months have been emotionally draining for me, and I really wanted/needed to lose myself in another world- so I chose to revisit some old favourites that have a comforting nostalgia associated with them. I couldn’t choose just one of her books, they are all so great, and quite a few of them are interconnected- so I chose to read them all. I still love this series as much as I did the first time I read it. It is an epic fantasy interwoven with mythology, history, gods and goddesses, an evil Minotaur mysteriousness, fun, revenge, intrigue, sorcery, good vs evil, adventure, action, drama, magic, and so much more I won’t go into here so as not to spoil the surprises. Ms. Douglass weaves her stories quite masterfully, crafting a truly believable and sumptuous world in which to set her story. Her attention to detail brings her world and story to life. This is such a complex and multi-layered story which Ms. Douglass choreographed brilliantly- there are multiple story threads woven through these books, two major ones playing out at the same tim-, one in the future, and one in the past. So engrossing! The Troy Game Series Books are: -Hades Daughter (Book One) -God’s Concubine (Book Two) -Darkwitch Rising (Book Three) -Druid’s Sword (Book Four) Epic fantasy done so very well! Happy Reading!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I enjoyed book number two in this series so much more than I did book one. In the first book, I really did not like any of the main characters. Not that I need to LIKE them, necessarily, but I need to care about their struggles. I need to feel invested in their fight. I need to be drawn into the plot and, in that first book, I cared only half-heartedly. This book was different. The characters were no longer just caricatures of a naive girl, an evil witch, and a brutish man. In this book, two of I enjoyed book number two in this series so much more than I did book one. In the first book, I really did not like any of the main characters. Not that I need to LIKE them, necessarily, but I need to care about their struggles. I need to feel invested in their fight. I need to be drawn into the plot and, in that first book, I cared only half-heartedly. This book was different. The characters were no longer just caricatures of a naive girl, an evil witch, and a brutish man. In this book, two of the three main characters showed real growth and displayed some depth of character that were so sadly lacking in that first book. The other main character..well, I'm holding out hope that she will undergo some real change in the third book in the series, which I intend to start tonight. I will say that I also really enjoyed the setting of this book. I have always been drawn to medieval England. Maybe it's because my teen years were spent reading historical romances. Maybe its because my great-grandparents traced my family back to the Battle of Hastings during their investigation into our family ancestry. I will also say that I really appreciated how the author was able to weld her imagination with historical people, places, and events. I expect I will find this to be true in book three as well. I will admit I don't know much about the Restoration of the monarchy after the establishment of the Commonweath. Charles II's reign is a mystery to me. I look forward to learning a bit about the British Civil War as seen through the fantastical lens of one reborn time and time again.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Meier

    So if you enjoy Greek mythology, this book is borderline historical fiction. You WILL see the main character transform throughout the series. It is another epic fantasy and is beautifully written and Sara Douglass is not afraid to go too far. This is an adult only book, meaning it has adult content. Great concept which gets revealed at the end of the book for the rest of the series. Was a page Turner for me and I've read it several times.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    this book is much better than the first of the series. but for me, nothing will ever compare to sara’s first battleaxe trilogy ♥️

  15. 5 out of 5

    P.

    dull and confusing

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nina Robinson

    My favourite of the series set against the backdrop of 1066 and William of Normandy's invasion of England. Cornelia finds her strength and really shines in this second instalment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Whilst the second instalment in The Troy Game continues to weave history and enchantment, I found it less compelling than book one. Perhaps the distance of the characters contributed, but mostly I felt that transporting the story two thousand years forward in time meant that much of the book was spent in exposition and explanation. That said, it was still thoroughly enjoyable and I continue to recommend the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Madbethcash

    The gang is all back: Brutus, Coel, Cornelia, Loth, Genvissa, Ecub, Erith, Asterion. Cornelia, unknowing, as Caela, the wife of Edward the Confessor. Brutus as William of Normandy. Coel, as Caela's brother Harold, is unknowing and has married Genvissa, which amuses her. Asterion hides his form for awhile but is in with the upper echelons of the English government. The best part of this installment of this series is Brutus' character development. He marries Mathilda of Flanders and truly loves her The gang is all back: Brutus, Coel, Cornelia, Loth, Genvissa, Ecub, Erith, Asterion. Cornelia, unknowing, as Caela, the wife of Edward the Confessor. Brutus as William of Normandy. Coel, as Caela's brother Harold, is unknowing and has married Genvissa, which amuses her. Asterion hides his form for awhile but is in with the upper echelons of the English government. The best part of this installment of this series is Brutus' character development. He marries Mathilda of Flanders and truly loves her: she helps him become a better man. Other things: (view spoiler)[ Asterion gets his hands on Swanne, aka Genvissa, and seriously messes with her mind. She becomes his creature, as Ariadne promised. Caela finally gets her "memory" back and then is instated as Mag's successor. She chooses the goddess name "Eaving," to mean "shelter." Harold and Caela spend a long time fighting their attraction for each other. As Caela tries to make herself whole, they make beautiful love. Also, I can't remember now the exact sequence of these events, but Cornelia/Caela is impregnated with both an evil imp of Asterion's creation and Catling - there are scenes of the book that take place inside Caela's womb. Catling is shown playing cat's cradle with the imp monsters. Cornelia takes Silvius (Brutus' father) to bed and I think what happens is that Silvius was actually Asterion in disguise, and therefore Cornelia has invited Death to ride her. Thus towards the end, when Brutus and Cornelia are still sort of trying to make up, he kisses her and tastes "death" - "you are the devil's concubine!" and so, well, Brutus isn't all there yet as a stand-up dude. (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Smiley

    Story is getting a little better. As one character grows, another gains some hope and then dashes it at the end for me, while another is still a terrible character. Caela has come into her own and taking steps into controlling her destiny. Brutus showed some hope of maturing and becoming a true king, only to have a scene that made me want to dash his head into a wall. Luckily there was a character that slapped some sense into him, with words. Genvissa is still a pampered darkwitch, thinking that Story is getting a little better. As one character grows, another gains some hope and then dashes it at the end for me, while another is still a terrible character. Caela has come into her own and taking steps into controlling her destiny. Brutus showed some hope of maturing and becoming a true king, only to have a scene that made me want to dash his head into a wall. Luckily there was a character that slapped some sense into him, with words. Genvissa is still a pampered darkwitch, thinking that she can do anything she wants, damn everyone else, and, of course, her failures are in the hands of Caela. It's almost like the old stories of evil people that don't learn and will have pity parties for themselves when their plans fail. Now she is trapped in someone else's trap, and I guess this is supposed to make me feel sorry for her, but it's rather hard to after all the trouble and death she caused. I'm hopping onto the next book since the character I care about is coming into her own and I hope there are good things planned for her coming up.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nano

    Took a while for me to get into this second chapter. Most of the characters from the first book have returned, however, through their own personal identity developments they have lost all of the savage brutality that made them so awesome in the first book. Instead, they were psychologically complex, and at times extremely whiny. Sometimes it felt like reading a soapy. There are some fantastic new characters, and I was glad that despite the setting being from a heavily Christianized time with som Took a while for me to get into this second chapter. Most of the characters from the first book have returned, however, through their own personal identity developments they have lost all of the savage brutality that made them so awesome in the first book. Instead, they were psychologically complex, and at times extremely whiny. Sometimes it felt like reading a soapy. There are some fantastic new characters, and I was glad that despite the setting being from a heavily Christianized time with some very pious characters, the author found time to also include the land and female figure worship that was so amazing in the first book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I tried this series because I liked the Wayfarer Redemption books so much, and I have to say I enjoy basically all of the books by Sara Douglass.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was my favorite book in the series. The setting for this episode is 1066 and the invasion of William the Conquerer. I was curious to see how well the events Douglass writes about mesh with history so I read an account of 1066 and was really impressed. The characters also become more interesting. Having disliked many of them from the previous book, you can see how they change as the centuries pass as their new lives affect who they are.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    I never know what to say when reviewing a book. I can only say that Sarah Douglass truly has written a dark and hopeful series. With the twist and turns of a who becomes whom in the characters, I actually had to keep a list . Still I would keep reading and reading this series. I have read it 3 times now. I fall deeper in to the lives and loves of the Troy Game each time. If you only read one series this year make it this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    This one is less good than the first--all plot, with very little positive character development. That which is positive--like Cornelia's--is sometimes a bit unbelievable in its rapidity and other times it's a bit regressive (like her continued affection and love for Brutus, that wanker). Anyway, like most second books, it bridges the gap between a good start and what I know is at least a much better third (if not to say final) book. Read it! Finish it quickly! Move on to the next!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Continuing the Troy Game series... I love where Sara is going with the character development in this book. I can see some changes, some lessons learned from the previous lives of these characters. It's all very interesting, and kept my attention. In fact, I couldn't put this book down once I picked it up. But then, I'm a sucker for good female characters, and this book has several.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thankfully the 2nd book in The Troy Game series was better than the first, and while there were still gruesome and disturbing scenes and the sex-crazed undertone it was much better as a whole. Douglass has a great imagination and I love that she can surprise me and just when I think I can predict what will happen a new twist will come up. Now I need to get the third book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    The central characters of "Hades Daughter" reincarnate as major players in William of Normandy's fight for the throne of England in 1066. The battle between Brutus and Asterion moves forward as both desire the kingship bands and control of The Game. Very interesting mix of fact and fiction. On to the next....

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The game awakes again but this time it has awoken in the Medieval in England. The main character is the embodiment of Mother Mag however she does not recognize it. As she goes through her life many of the characters from book one make appearances under different names. They are all stuck until the game can be finished.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I had a hard time keeping a good pace with this. I just couldn't get into the characters or the story, and would put the book down for weeks at a time without missing it. There wasn't a lot of resolution from the last book, and there wasn't much momentum in this one. I will move on to reading something else and probably not read the last two books in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I found this a very engrossing book, full of fascinating characters, and in richly created setting. The plot moved along well, building up suspense for further books in the series while managing to remain full of its own action.

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