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Children of Tantalus: Niobe and Pelops Paperback – December 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456368907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456368906
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,039,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. -- NS Gill, About.com Ancient History

"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

Dartmouth graduate Victoria Grossack leads an international life, with homes in Switzerland and Arizona and a professional career in the financial industry that has spanned the Atlantic. She is fluent in German and French (and English of course) and has an MBA. Her last full-time position was as a Senior Vice President in New York City for a reinsurance company, but she is currently writing full-time and living with her husband who is a professor at the University of Arizona. Her writing has been published in Contingencies, Woman's World, I Love Cats, and The Journal of Actuarial Practice. She was a regular columnist for Fiction Fix, writing monthly articles that have been used in several writing classes. She teaches writing courses at Coffeehouseforwriters on historical fiction, creating characters, and the levels of structure in fiction. She also tutors mathematics, as solving problems in algebra and geometry make a nice break from creative writing.

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I cannot wait to start reading the next book!
Mamabird
Well done as author incorporates the history of this time period with passion and intrigue.
Kindle Customer
It was simply one of the best fiction books I have read in a long time.
C. K. Khury

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Demorvan on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
CHILDREN OF TANTALUS is the first novel in Grossack and Underwood's NIOBE trilogy. In this book we meet Niobe and Pelops, two of the children of the powerful, but dangerous, and possibly insane Tantalus. Not trusting their parents, the siblings set out accross the sea to seek their fortunes, discovering along the way many who can't be trusted. Grossack and Underwood combine the myths surrounding Tantalus and his progeny with well-researched archaeology and colourful chariot races, which leads to an exciting climax where Pelops wins his kingdom and his bride - but at a huge cost to his soul, while Niobe learns secrets she would rather not have known. An excellent coming-of-age story, and a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J C Holland on January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A simple story with magic that transforms the book into one that is hard to put down. I read this in four ays
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kernos on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a pleasant surprise! Though originally published in Greek by a major publisher, this 1st book of a trilogy has been self-published in the US. Do not let that put you off. The novel is the best written, edited and produced such book I have read. I only found one possible typo in the entire book, unusual even from top publishers.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Khury on December 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this volume and I truly can say I cant remember the last time I was so absorbed in a story. The writing is very, very clean, with a single plot line, and very precise description of everything -- and all that kept me turning the pages. The authors managed to convey the story, all the many emotions that arose, describing the many and varied settings for the events in the story, etc. without introducing a single extraneous bit of info. It was simply one of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. Highly recommended. Looking forward to reading the next two parts of this trilogy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue on February 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An exciting story in which Niobe and her brother, Pelops, leave Lydia to escape from their dangerous father, King Tantalus, whose sanity is questionable. Tantalus is both cunning and treacherous; Pelops and Niobe realize they will have to use these traits to survive in the barbaric west. This book, along with the entire Tapestry of Bronze series, definitely gets five stars!!

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.
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