Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Amazon World

Written by John Man
Review by Rob Southworth

This is the first time that I have reviewed a non-fiction book, and it is with trepidation that I venture from the secure world of fiction. I have of course heard of John Man, but as most of his works are not in an area that I usually read or write about, I was up to this point unaware of his qualities. The lure of finding out more about the mythical Amazonian warriors, however, was too much to ignore. First came the unwrapping, and in truth I was pleasantly surprised. This was no mundane cover targeted toward a section of academics that have not seen the brilliance of sun since they entered the educational world. The vibrant cover would not have looked out of place adorning an ancient Athenian vase. Coupled with the title, it was a seductive way of pulling me toward the inner pages. What is apparent, and I challenge any reader to disagree, is the obvious enjoyment the author finds in this ancient world. That enjoyment is matched by the energy and quality of his writing. This is no bland history lesson. The research is thorough, the analysis of findings not over-dramatic, he at no point claims to turn water into wine. Nonetheless, what he does succeed in achieving is, through the skill of his writing, to bring those ancient finds, stories and research to life. Now, no book is perfect and it’s only fair to point out that a substantial part of the book drifts away from the Amazonians. If I am completely honest, this section felt like padding. I am not sure that it added any worth to the work. That aside, it is an extremely enjoyable and informative read.