|Lavinia, a nobody character in the Aenid takes centre stage
as the heroine. A love story. A story of passion and death. This is a poetic romance with
the format of a novel, a serenade of the poet Vigil and a celebration of the strength of
the female spirit.
Never mind that I found my usual easy-going suspension of disbelief
to be impossible; it is hard to keep up such fakeries when the truth is woven into the
story itself, as implacable and inescapable as the prophecies of the poet himself. For
Livinia knows -- as do her readers -- that the man she is waiting for will die, that she
will spark a bitter war, and that if she does not follow this destiny then her life, and
the life of her people will be for nothing.
All in all an intriguingly subtle interweaving of Ursula Le Guin's skill both as a
fantasist and as a literary writer.