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Queen of the Amazons (Alexander the Great #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Judith Tarr returns to the always fascinating character of Alexander the Great in this fantasy novel that springs from the legend that the Queen of the Amazons came to meet him in Persia, and became his friend.
Hippolyta was Penthesilea, or Queen of the Amazons. She ruled as war leader and high priestess of a scattered tribe of women warriors who had dwelt on the high plain
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2004)
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Lyrical, breathtaking and utterly strange, Ms. Tarr twines the story of the Amazons with that of one of the greatest conquerors that ever lived. It is a thrilling and bizarre story, which I couldn’t help but like as it meshes together quite a number of elements that I prize in a narrative: gender switching, sorcery and goddesses.

The notion of fate being both fluid and inflexible is the common thread that binds together this fascinating bewitchment of a novel. History is spun with the true story
Initially NO
Feb 21, 2014 Initially NO rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
There’s nothing like having a really good fantasy book to read though. In so many ways better than watching a mini-series of the tale, which this book could easily be made into.

What’s the book about? A child is born to the Amazon queen. But the child has no soul. She grows to be an exquisitely beautiful woman and excellent hunter, but is eerily soulless. She leaps upon a tiger’s back and cuts the tiger’s throat and leaps off again as the tiger lashes out in its death throws. They call her Etta,
May 27, 2015 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hippolyta, queen of the people (as they call themselves), bears a daughter who has no soul. Rather than kill it, and to the dismay of her people, she names it her heir. But it becomes clear eventually that the goddess is guiding Hippolyta's purposes. The queen, her daughter, and the daughter's guard/seer Selene are drawn to Alexander the Great as he nears his fate.

I can't relate to Tarr's ancient ideal tribes, and I didn't want to read about the people's corruption. The revelation of the heir's
Jul 15, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book, once I figured out that the story wasn't going where I'd expected it to. Totally my own fault, but it left me waiting and waiting for something to happen that doesn't happen until quite close to the end. The ending felt a bit abrupt, as everything comes crashing together.

I don't think I'll be looking for the sequel.

Recommended for people who know just enough Greek history to be tickled by the historical references without being bothered by the mythic transformation. No re
Gautama Siddartha
I read so many versions of this... History...I like the one where she was sad that he was so small and when she returned to her women, she was killed for being weak...
Dec 31, 2012 Cayleigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
The queen of the Amazons had a child that had no soul, she lived and breathed but nobody was home but the Queen refused to cast her out. The task was given to her friend Selene to care for the child. One day the child inexplicably starts moving and brings Selene, the queen and her guards to the camp of Alexander the Great. This is the story of how that girl child gets a soul and becomes the next Queen of the Amazons. So the idea is there and is interesting and I love love loved the Alexander the ...more
Kinda fun to listen to a book about Amazons. It was so hard for me to picture an entire army of women. I kept forgetting that they and even some of the key characters were women, despite the author making it clear and fleshing them out well. I blame this on the fact that our society's warrior stories are pretty much exclusively about men.
The narrator is awesome. She does men's voices like a boss.
An interesting story twist about Alexander the Great and the Amazons...
Oct 29, 2012 Dennis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a good take on Alexander, probably one of the more interesting historical subjects. This book focused on people around Alexander, characters who were quite boring in comparison. If you're going to have characters interact with him, they'd better be pretty decent characters, otherwise they'll get lost and seem even more bland by comparison. I wish I could say that I had figured out the unique hook early on, but it wasn't until much later that it dawned on me what was going to go down, however ...more
Kristyn Jensen
This book to me a little while to get into. About halfway through I was able to guess what was going to happen. The battle towards the end was exciting and kept me on my toes, but a few more battle scenes would have added to the excitement of the book and made it a little less monotonous. It was an ok book, but definitely not a favorite.
Nov 02, 2007 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read, as I've never read anything about the Amazons before, and little about Alexander the Great's campaigns. However the writing is not as impressive as many other books I've read and a few brief passages are actually a little difficult to follow, presumably due to poor editing.
Jul 07, 2010 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tarr did a wonderful job of threading the myth of the Amazon women into the life of Alexander the Great. She used factual information, though fictionalized of course, about Alexander's life. She creates strong realistic female characters in a richly detailed setting.
Jul 11, 2012 lowercase rated it really liked it

a surprisingly cogent, intriguing story, tight plotting, strong characterizations, and literary merit without pretension. a refreshing read.
May 20, 2009 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tarr's background as an historical scholar always makes for an interesting read. This one never quiiiite become 3D however.
A strong narrative style, but the historical element is smothered by the fantasy one.
Mar 15, 2012 Snowfalcon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting idea and loved the descriptions and such but the pacing seemed really slow.
Nov 14, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-world
interesting twist on the stories of alexander the great & the amazon queens
Apr 14, 2009 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent. Interesting concept. Neither the best nor the worst book I've read.
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AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
More about Judith Tarr...

Other Books in the Series

Alexander the Great (2 books)
  • Bring Down the Sun (Alexander the Great, #2)

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