Green Phoenix - Thomas Burnett Swann I initially gave this book two stars but upon a moderate amount of reflection, I'm bumping it up to three. It's still not a resounding three, but it's more than 2.5, so I should round up (according to my math teachers at any rate).

Somehow, I became aware of the existence of Thomas Burnett Swann and what I read about him and his works intrigued me.

Green Phoenix is a tale about Aeneas and what happened when he brought his Trojans to Italy. The chief characters are Aeneas, his son Ascanius and the dryad Mellonia; and the antagonist is the dryad queen Volumna. It's a myth more than a novel so there's not much in the way of character development, and I found the writing style a bit odd (though by the end, I had become accustomed to it). Aeneas is depicted as a heroic warrior who doesn't enjoy war and is tormented by the destiny that forces him to abandon all of the women he loves. Ascanius comes across - in the beginning - as little more than a thug, a child so brutalized by war and the life he's lived for the last 20 years that women are little more than things to be raped and vessels to bear heirs. But he loves his father fiercely and is capable of feeling much more, a quality that becomes evident over the course of the story. Mellonia is an innocent dryad who bridges the gulf between Aeneas, his men and the coming Age of Iron and the remnants of the Golden & Silver Ages, the dryads, satyrs, fauns and other nonhuman inhabitants of Italy.

I'm still intrigued by Swann's work and continue to keep my eye out for the books that initially attracted me to him - Wolfwinter, and The Gods Abide - but I'm still on the fence with him and can't quite recommend him yet.

On a side note - This is my first Kindle book. Yes, I finally took the plunge and acquired an electronic-book reader. I think I like it; I certainly like the fact that I now have the complete works of Shakespeare and H.P. Lovecraft at my fingertips any time I want (assuming the battery's charged) and I downloaded Andre Norton's Plague Ship for free. I've yet to learn how to bookmark my favorite passages though :-(

So far my experience with the Kindle library is like my experience with Netflix's streaming library: Yes, there are many books (movies) available but there are still far too many books (movies) that I want to read (watch) that aren't.