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

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ancient history and violent religious myth collide in this romantic fantasy-tinged biography of Myrtale, the imposing, powerful mother of Alexander the Great. Tarr opens with a weak segment on the queen's early days as Polyxena, an impossibly beautiful and rather childish acolyte of the Mother goddess. Once she seduces Philip of Macedon, who calls her Myrtale (crowned one) ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Tor Books (first published May 27th 2008)
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I have enjoyed Judith Tarr's books for a number of years. She has a talent for writing historical fiction. Some are pure historical works while others bring in a touch of a fantasy element to them.

This is her most recent book and focuses on the tale of Alexander the Great's mother Olypias. When the story starts, she is a priestess for the Mother, a traditional goddess of her people, and goes by the name of Polyxena. She is a princess and a niece of the current king of her land. Her aunt has a gr
To attempt to write a biography of Alexander the Great's mother is to do so without having much, if any, factual information about her at your disposal as she lived so very long ago. Hence, Judith Tarr has taken the religious myths of the time and written a very fantasy-based account of the period of her life up until Alexander is born. Myrtale, as she becomes known, is a young priestess of the Goddess. The myth of the Mother or Goddess having powers to protect the earth from the dark forces has ...more
I hadn't read Judith Tarr since I was a teenager, and I had very fond memories of her books being great historical fantasy romance novels, the kind geeky girls read for a little dirtiness. So when I came across this book I of course had high expectations of titillation. Unfortunately the only feeling I got was shock that the book was so bad. The book is about Polyxena, an acolyte of the Mother Goddess, who eventually becomes Olympia, the mother of Alexander the Great. Her sexual energy gives her ...more
I like Judith Tarr although some of her reviews dis her writing style. She has to be a Goddess worshipper or at least a feminist.

Finally finish this short book and was very please. Appealing to Goddess Worshipers. Alexander the Great's Mother has often been turned into a wicked, harpy, witchy woman in both anime and other fantasy novels. This view is very much like "Moon Under Her Feet" where Olympias is a strong woman reared as a priestess in the Temple of the Mother and the equal to Alexander'
Chantel Acevedo
A very slow start to this one. I like the idea of witchcraft and goddess worship in the ancient world, and think there's an appeal to pairing that with the mother of Alexander the Great. The protagonist is an interesting, at times creepy, young woman. Creepy in a good way, mind. There was something a little off with the perspective, which would jump here and there to other characters in a way that took me out of the story. Still, the book is a world I enjoyed being in for a little while, and it ...more
Nov 26, 2008 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ancient historical fiction/fantasy/pagan fans
This was my first Judith Tarr book and I was a bit disappointed, I had really built her up and expected to adore this book - ancient Mother-goddess priestesses and naked witches flying on broomsticks - heck yeah! But her writing was nothing special and there was so little characterization that the protagonist was very hard to relate to. That said, I'll definitely read some of her other work as I can't say no to goddess magic stories, however ho-hum they may be.
I really like Judith Tar for some of the other hist fic that I've read. I grabbed this book at a sale, but wasn't sure what to exoect since its just over 200 pages. Any HF fans know that those books tend to be looong. This was a well written story, while a little codensed for my taste. I liked the imperfect heroine, who fully recognized her flaws and also the way the setting and background was so beautifully described. The land itself took on a magical air.
Barbara Ell
She was the wife of Philip, and mother of Alexander the Great. Her father was a king and her sister a great queen. There are rumors and legends about her. Judith Tarr spins these legends into a fantastic tale of Polyxenia's life, from being an accolade to the Mother goddess to her marriage to Philip. It stops just short of Alexander's birth.

It is a short novel and brings a bit of fantasy into the historical knowledge of what we know of Polyxena.
It was not the best book by Judith Tarr, she is the only fantasy writer that I like. This one did not touch anything in me. The previous one "Queen of the amazons was much better", not to mention my favourite ones such as “Daughter of Lir" and "White mare's daughter".
Kristyn Jensen
This was such a good story. I loved the fantasy and magic associated with the story. My only complaint was it was too short. Tarr writes women so beautifully making them stand out against the whole and this was no different. I just wanted more of these characters. It was very similar to Marion zimmer Bradley, a favorite of mine.
A disappointing prequel to one of my favourite Tarr books, Lord of the Two Lands, in which her prose, though lyrical as always, is frequently impenetrable and circular, and for me the characters never really came to life. Still, a quick read, and even sub-par Tarr is better than many authors' best!
Rachel Swords
Fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Avalon' books should enjoy this look at Alexander the Great's mother, as much of the story deals with magic and religion. There isn't as much dialogue, though, and it serves for a quick but likable read.
The lyrical prose you expect from Tarr, but most of the characters remained oddly 2-dimensional. As did the world of ancient Greece, which was a bummer.
Such gorgeous prose! Minus a star for the out of place magic element. If that had been changed it would be 5/5 for sure.
Give me that real old time religion with a hefty dose of intrigue.
Lynn Calvin
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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 (3 books)
  • Lord of the Two Lands (Alexander the Great, #0.5)
  • Queen of the Amazons (Alexander the Great, #1)
Household Gods The Isle of Glass (The Hound and the Falcon, #1) The Hound and the Falcon Alamut (Alamut, #1) King and Goddess

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