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Children of Tantalus: Niobe and Pelops Paperback – December 5, 2010
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"Grossack and Underwood have an unfailing ear for dialogue and drama ...inevitable comparisons to the work of both Robert Graves and Mary Renault, but Grossack and Underwood consistently manage a wit and breadth all their own...Very strongly recommended." -- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online
"A fresh discovery for this reader. A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius." --Bob Mielke, The Copperfield Review
About the Author
Alice Underwood studied classics at The University of Texas and Princeton University while earning her degrees in mathematics. Her passion for antiquity has taken her from the shadowed catacombs of Princeton's libraries to the ruins of Pompeii and the sunny shores of Crete and Santorini. Her work has been published in Consortium, Networks, and The Journal of Actuarial Practice. Currently an Executive Vice President at one of the world's top insurance brokerage firms, Alice lives and works in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a novelization of the myth of Tantalus and his children Pelops, Broteas and Niobe. Pelops and Tantalus are father and grandfather of the great House of Atreus, so important in ancient Greek literature. The myths are relatively straight-forward, though of course there are variations and name confusions. The author has chosen the currently most accepted forms of the myth, eg placing the kingdom of Tantalus in Lydia. It will be interesting to she what choices Grossack makes in the following novels, eg who does Niobe marry, what happens to her children, will Pelop's curse come true, etc.
The 1st novel is basically a retelling of Pelops death and resurrection in Lydia, his obsession to build an empire of his own, his banishment from Athens, and the events surrounding his marriage to Hippodamia. A possible foretelling of events to come in the sequels concerns the curse of Myrtilus, food for tragedy. Additional subplots involve Pelops intimacy with a certain older ship captain and Niobe's fascination with a handsome bard. What does the future hold?
Trough all of this Niobe provides a firm foundation on which Pelops can stride and in many ways the novel is the telling of Niobe's story, much neglected in ancient literature. The author creates a compelling character in Niobe and believable additions to the myths. I am looking forward to the sequels.
Children of Tantalus: Niobe and Pelops is a novel all lovers of mythic fiction will want to read.
Tidbit for those who wonder if these characters are real: the Peloponnesus, the southern peninsula of Greece, is still called after Pelops more that three thousand years later.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very good book, I am reading the second one at this time. I love Greek characters and the times. If you are the same, then you will love this book as I do.Published 16 months ago by Jeri George
Certainly a change in genre for this reader, yet nevertheless interesting. Well done as author incorporates the history of this time period with passion and intrigue.Published 18 months ago by Kindle Customer