Judith Starkston




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Judith Starkston

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member since
November 2010


About this author

Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Her novel, Hand of Fire (Fireship Press September 2014), tells Briseis’s story, the captive woman who sparked the bitter conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad. There was more to her than the handful of lines Homer gave her. Imagine a woman who can both challenge and love that most conflicted of heroes, the half-immortal Achilles.

Starkston’s upcoming mystery series features the indomitable Queen Puduhepa of the Hittites. On the first surviving peace treaty in history, Puduhepa pressed her seal next to her foe’s, Rameses II, but she didn’t realize until now that she was a sleuth.

Book reviews, ancient recipes, historical tidbits as well
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Judith Starkston I began to write Hand of Fire in order to answer a question that had bothered me for a long time. For years I’d taught the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem of…moreI began to write Hand of Fire in order to answer a question that had bothered me for a long time. For years I’d taught the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem of the Trojan War, and kept wondering with my students how Briseis, the captive woman who sparked the bitter conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon, could possibly have loved Achilles—which is what Homer distinctly shows us. The half-immortal Greek had killed her husband and brothers, destroyed her city and turned her from princess to slave—hardly a heartwarming courtship. She is central to the plot and yet she gets only a handful of lines. In those few words, the one clear notion expressed is her sorrow when she is forced to leave Achilles. I should say I always liked Achilles, the existential hero who calls the whole war into question—which shows he’s no brainwasher—so the answer wasn’t some ancient version of Stockholm Syndrome. This psychological puzzle was the triggering idea for Hand of Fire.(less)
Judith Starkston Hand of Fire is definitely a fun read for a fan of Homer--although I did work hard to make it read enjoyably for those who've never read Homer. I…moreHand of Fire is definitely a fun read for a fan of Homer--although I did work hard to make it read enjoyably for those who've never read Homer. I loved seeing the major events in the Iliad through a woman's eyes. Let's cross paths around twitter--I tend to send out links about fun archaeology and recommendations for good historical fiction reads. Conversations about reading, history or whatever strikes your fancy are always welcome @JudithStarkston(less)
Average rating: 4.46 · 69 ratings · 54 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
Hand of Fire
4.45 of 5 stars 4.45 avg rating — 65 ratings — published 2014 — 4 editions
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SoWest: Desert Justice (Sin...
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4.75 of 5 stars 4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2012
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Some posts I enjoyed this week: Two recaps of HNS Denver 2015 fr Kate Quinn and Pat Bracewell, anachronisms in Historical Fiction?, difference between historical romance and historical fiction with a romantic element, 4th of July mysteries, resurrecting book tours?
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Published on July 03, 2015 19:56 • 5 views

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Judith's Recent Updates

Judith Starkston is now friends with Daniele
5869536
" Kristin wrote: "I would have loved to have heard the whole panel. I have been meaning to read your book and now this has given me a good prod."
Ah, now
...more "
" Ruth wrote: "Just returned from the Historical Novel Society conference in Denver, so I've been steeped in HF for a few days, and my wish list has gro ...more "
date: June 29, 2015 12:00AM
location: Blogosphere, The United States
description: Faith L. Justice on Blog Tour with Historical Fiction Book Tours for Sword of the Gladiatrix, June 29-July 10.

[image]

Pub Date: May 2015 | Raggedy Moon Books
Formats: Trade PB & eBook
ISBN: 978-0692386491
Pages: 260pp

Genre: Historical/Adventure/Romance/LGBT

Two women. Two swords. One victor.

An action-packed tale that exposes the brutal underside of Imperial Rome, Sword of the Gladiatrix brings to life unforgettable characters and exotic settings. From the far edges of the Empire, two women com
...more
Judith Starkston entered a giveaway
The Secret Chord by Geraldine  Brooks
The Secret Chord
by Geraldine Brooks (Goodreads Author)
25 copies available, ends on July 13, 2015 Enter to win »
Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella
Helen of Sparta
by Amalia Carosella (Goodreads Author)
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Carosella has brought to life an entirely new take on the Helen myth. She has embraced a Helen who takes control of her life and tries to defy fate (and the gods do their darndest, as usual in Greek mythology, to make her and everyone else miserable) ...more
Judith Starkston made a comment in the group Historical FictionistasGreek Historical Fiction topic
" I also just finished Helen of Sparta and enjoyed it. Amalia definitely has a fresh take on the Helen story. "
Which book would you most like to represent the ANCIENT section of the group in our 2015 JULY GROUP READ?

She voted for: Eagles at War
Judith Starkston made a comment in the group Historical Fictionistas2015 - Introductions topic
" Angela wrote: "Hello.. My name is Angela. I'm from NJ, USA. I love historical fiction. I was so excited when I found this group. I was browsing around ...more "
The Other Alexander by Andrew Levkoff
" Linda wrote: "I liked your review so much that I got the book to read next."

Always glad when good books and readers connect :)
"
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Gore Vidal
“The most interesting thing about writing is the way that it obliterates time. Three hours seem like three minutes. Then there is the business of surprise. I never know what is coming next. The phrase that sounds in the head changes when it appears on the page. Then I start probing it with a pen, finding new meanings. Sometimes I burst out laughing at what is happening as I twist and turn sentences. Strange business, all in all. One never gets to the end of it. That’s why I go on, I suppose. To see what the next sentences I write will be.”
Gore Vidal

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Comments (showing 14-63)    post a comment »

message 63: by Judith

Judith Starkston amomentsilence wrote: "Thanks for friending me! :) TBH, it was your review that inspired me to want to read the book (The Song of Achilles) in the first place! I'm also very interested in reading your Hand of Fire as well."

Glad to know my reviews help readers and good books connect.


message 62: by amomentsilence (last edited Oct 22, 2014 09:21PM)

amomentsilence Thanks for friending me! :) TBH, it was your review that inspired me to want to read the book (The Song of Achilles) in the first place! I'm also very interested in reading your Hand of Fire as well.


message 61: by Judith

Judith Starkston Ashley wrote: "hi Judith, thanks for the add! Your Hand of Fire book sounds like a great read as well :) looking forward to talking hist-fic with you!"

Thanks so much. See you around Goodreads.


Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* hi Judith, thanks for the add! Your Hand of Fire book sounds like a great read as well :) looking forward to talking hist-fic with you!


message 59: by Judith

Judith Starkston Raychylle wrote: "Hello, thank you very much for adding me... Lovely to meet you here on Goodreads... Good luck on your book... I'm looking forward to reading it.."

Thanks so much!


message 58: by Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn } (last edited Jan 11, 2014 07:07AM)

Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn } Hello, thank you very much for adding me... Lovely to meet you here on Goodreads... Good luck on your book... I'm looking forward to reading it..


message 57: by Judith

Judith Starkston Shilpa wrote: "Thank you for the invite :) And best wishes for your book. I'm sure it will be fantastic!"

I look forward to your recommendations. I'll let my goodreads friends know when my book is out. Not for a bit


message 56: by Shilpa

Shilpa Thank you for the invite :) And best wishes for your book. I'm sure it will be fantastic!


message 55: by Judith

Judith Starkston April wrote: "I'm glad you decided to invite! I look forward to discussing books with you in future as I thoroughly enjoyed your review of Song of Achilles, it was fantastic."

That review has more likes than any other I've put up. I guess it really hit a universal response to the book. I also love the topic--the Iliad, Achilles, Briseis. I'm in the process of getting my own book set within the Iliad published, so it's near and dear to me.


message 54: by April

April I'm glad you decided to invite! I look forward to discussing books with you in future as I thoroughly enjoyed your review of Song of Achilles, it was fantastic.


message 53: by Craig

Craig Enjoy your weekend and whatever you do and wherever you go, I hope it puts a smile on your face.


message 52: by Judith

Judith Starkston Kris wrote: "Hey, Judy. Good to connect here.

Kris

Kris Neri
Magical Alienation: A Samantha Brennan and Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mystery"

Hi, what a pleasant reversal--to meet a real, face-to-face, non-virtual friend on Goodreads. Hope the back is all better and the glorious October weather is making you smile.
Judy


message 50: by Judith

Judith Starkston Jeannie and Louis wrote: "Judith, How lovely to meet you here on Goodreads. I, too, enjoy the classics and have been enjoying learning about great artists recently.

Have a safe and happy autumn of reading/writing."


Thanks so much. Happy reading to you also.


Jeannie and Louis Rigod Judith, How lovely to meet you here on Goodreads. I, too, enjoy the classics and have been enjoying learning about great artists recently.

Have a safe and happy autumn of reading/writing.


message 48: by Judith

Judith Starkston Hannah wrote: "Hi Judith, thanks for the friend request! Great to know someone else with a love of classical history. ^_^"

I definitely love classical history


message 47: by Hannah

Hannah Cameron Hi Judith, thanks for the friend request! Great to know someone else with a love of classical history. ^_^


message 46: by Judith

Judith Starkston Kirsty wrote: "Hi Judith. Thank you for the friend request. :)"

See you around Goodreads.


message 45: by Judith

Judith Starkston Ben wrote: "Thanks for your friend request, Judith!"

See you around Goodreads.


message 44: by Ben

Ben Kane Thanks for your friend request, Judith!


message 43: by Judith

Judith Starkston Rachelle wrote: "Judith, I cannot wait to read your book. I've thought about Briseis also. I also went to Cornell and took some classes on Mycenaean Greek culture and the ancient world. I never got into the Classic..."

There certainly are! I'll have to look for your book on Michal.


Rachelle Ayala Judith, I cannot wait to read your book. I've thought about Briseis also. I also went to Cornell and took some classes on Mycenaean Greek culture and the ancient world. I never got into the Classics, but whenever I come across an ignored woman, I wonder what life was like for her. That's how I ended up writing about Michal--a misunderstood, forgotten footnote in the life of the great King David. Fortunately for us writers there are a lot of ignored, unsung women in history.


Diane D. hi Judith, thanks for the friend invite. I look forward to books, discussions and friendship with you!


message 40: by Judith

Judith Starkston Cindy wrote: "Hi Judith,
Glad to meet you. Look forward to following your reading as well.
You are in one of my favorite places--Phoenix!!
~C"


Not so many people choose Phoenix as one of their favorite places. Desert and heat can be an acquired taste.


message 39: by Cindy

Cindy Hi Judith,
Glad to meet you. Look forward to following your reading as well.
You are in one of my favorite places--Phoenix!!
~C


message 38: by Hayes

Hayes Hi Judith, nice to meet you!


message 37: by Deborah

Deborah Ledford Thank you for the friend add, Judith. Looking forward to following your reads and excellent reviews.
Deborah J Ledford
Snare


message 36: by Jeanine

Jeanine Carstairs Thank you for the friend invitation! :D


message 35: by Judith

Judith Starkston Elomari wrote: "Thanks for the friend request Judith. Hope we can exchange reviews."

"See" you around Goodreads!


message 34: by Beth

Beth Hi Judith,
Thanks for sending a friend request to this mystery author on Goodreads! I hope you will put my books, A Real Basket Case, To Hell in a Handbasket, Deadly Currents, and my upcoming May release, Wicked Eddies, on your to-read list. If you'd like to enter a contest for free mystery books, sign up for my email newsletter at: http://bethgroundwater.com/ .
- Beth


message 33: by Judith

Judith Starkston wfpoppet wrote: "Thank you for the friend request, Judith. I'm looking forward to following your reading, too. I've already enjoyed reading some of your thoughtful book reviews!"

Thanks! This is a great website. I've found out about so many books I would never have come across.


wfpoppet Thank you for the friend request, Judith. I'm looking forward to following your reading, too. I've already enjoyed reading some of your thoughtful book reviews!


message 31: by Judith

Judith Starkston MoonGlitter wrote: "Thanks so much for the friend request! I'm looking forward to following your readings as well!"

It will be fun to see you around Goodreads!


MoonGlitter Thanks so much for the friend request! I'm looking forward to following your readings as well!


message 29: by David

David Lentz Dear Judith,
Thank you for your kind note and I am glad we were able to connect on Goodreads.


message 28: by Judith

Judith Starkston Clark wrote: "Judith, Thank you for the friend request. Since it's based on your reading my comments about The Alchemist, have you read it? If so, what did you think. I know it's very popular among many people."

I haven't read it, but I followed his blog for a while (phenomenally successful, that was why I was checking it out) and I could see where your comments might arise. It's probably one of those books I should check out, but buried underneath piles of them as I am, I confess I probably won't get to it!


message 27: by Clark

Clark Zlotchew Judith, Thank you for the friend request. Since it's based on your reading my comments about The Alchemist, have you read it? If so, what did you think. I know it's very popular among many people.


Carolyn F. Thanks for the friend request Judith!


Carol *Young at Heart Oldie* Thank you for the friend invite, Judith. Look forward to discussing our choice of books.


message 24: by Judith

Judith Starkston Cheryl wrote: "Thanks for the friend request, Judith. I'd like to follow your reading as well."

Thanks! I'll see your around Goodreads!


message 23: by Cheryl

Cheryl Landmark Thanks for the friend request, Judith. I'd like to follow your reading as well.


message 22: by Judith

Judith Starkston Diana wrote: "Thanks for friending me Judith. I noticed your focus on the Iliad and I wonder if you've read Tasha Alexander's series Lady Julia Grey? Her Victorian heroine discovers her own intellect and falls i..."

I haven't read the Tasha Alexander series. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.


message 21: by Diana

Diana Daoust Thanks for friending me Judith. I noticed your focus on the Iliad and I wonder if you've read Tasha Alexander's series Lady Julia Grey? Her Victorian heroine discovers her own intellect and falls in love with her dead husband through her study of Greek classics. Forgive me if you'll listed it as read somewhere, you've got quite the collection on your bookshelves and I'm still learning to navigate the site. You have marvelous books on your TBR list!


message 20: by Meera

Meera Thanks for the friend invite Judith. I see we're both fans of PD James. I'm going to go through your shelves to see what I can pick up from you :-)


message 19: by Judith

Judith Starkston A. wrote: "Hi Judith and thanks for the friendship. I can't wait to be more active at Goodreads-but while I write it's difficult. I see that your area of expertise is more Hellenistic? That’s where I lack the..."

I sympathize with the sentiment that there's too much to learn and so little time. Good luck with the travels through history!


message 18: by A.

A. Sweeny Hi Judith and thanks for the friendship. I can't wait to be more active at Goodreads-but while I write it's difficult. I see that your area of expertise is more Hellenistic? That’s where I lack the most -haven't gotten around to it as I am slowly making my way through Akkadian and Sumerian history -which is my first love. After that it's Biblical era, which eventually I will run into Hellenism. There is so much and so little time :)


message 17: by Judith

Judith Starkston Alyssamaria wrote: "Hi Judith! I just started this site yesterday so bare with me while I get things up :) I never did reviews or things for a book discussion, but it should be fun! I actually got hooked with finding ..."

You'll have fun! I know the feeling of getting the old favorites out to list on Goodreads. That was lots of fun.


message 16: by Maria

Maria Hi Judith! I just started this site yesterday so bare with me while I get things up :) I never did reviews or things for a book discussion, but it should be fun! I actually got hooked with finding all the old books I used to read. Hahaha! Hope to see you around!


message 15: by Judith

Judith Starkston Rachelle wrote: "Thanks for friending me, Judith!"

The pleasure is mine!


Rachelle Thanks for friending me, Judith!


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