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Judith Starkston

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Judith Starkston

Goodreads Author


Born
in The United States
Website

Twitter

Genre

Member Since
November 2010


Judith Starkston has spent too much time reading about and exploring the remains of the ancient worlds of the Greeks, Hittites and the Near East. Early on she went so far as to get degrees in Classics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Cornell. She loves myths and telling stories. This has gotten more and more out of hand. Her solution: to write historical fantasy set in the Bronze Age. Hand of Fire was a semi-finalist for the M.M. Bennett’s Award for Historical Fiction. Priestess of Ishana won the San Diego State University Conference Choice Award.
Judith has two grown children and lives in Arizona with her husband. Sign up for
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Popular Answered Questions

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 My books about Puduhepa (renamed Tesha in my series) are available on Amazon Brazil. Priestess of Ishana, Sorcery in Alpara, Of Kings and Griffins. Yo…moreMy books about Puduhepa (renamed Tesha in my series) are available on Amazon Brazil. Priestess of Ishana, Sorcery in Alpara, Of Kings and Griffins. You should be able to buy them there. Is that what you mean by publishing in Brazil? Selling the foreign rights to a Brazilian publishing house so they could publish there seems unlikely to happen, although I'd certainly be interested if some publisher asked me. (less)
Average rating: 4.28 · 365 ratings · 129 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Hand of Fire (Trojan Thread...

4.28 avg rating — 241 ratings — published 2014 — 6 editions
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Priestess of Ishana (Tesha,...

4.12 avg rating — 83 ratings — published 2018 — 3 editions
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Sorcery in Alpara (Tesha #2)

4.35 avg rating — 20 ratings3 editions
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Of Kings and Griffins (Tesh...

4.87 avg rating — 15 ratings2 editions
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SoWest: Desert Justice (Sin...

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4.50 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2012
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The World’s First Recipes: Babylonian Cooking

Beets for Babylonian Cooking Thanksgiving Cheer from Babyloncuneiform tablet like those with these Babylonian Cooking recipesCuneiform tablet like those in Babylonian Collection (NY Met)

Happy Thanksgiving. In honor of the U.S.’s holiday of festive eating, I’ll share some Babylonian cooking. The recipes found on the clay tablets of Yale’s Babylonian Collection are some of the very earliest extant recipes. Some researchers experimented with them in the kitchen and the results were tasty.

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Published on November 22, 2022 20:00
Hand of Fire
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4.28 avg rating — 241 ratings

Priestess of Ishana Sorcery in Alpara Of Kings and Griffins
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4.25 avg rating — 118 ratings

Judith’s Recent Updates

Judith Starkston wrote a new blog post

The World’s First Recipes: Babylonian Cooking



Thanksgiving Cheer from BabylonCuneiform tablet like those in Babylonian Collection (NY Met)Happy Thanksgiving. In honor of the U.S.’s holiday of fes Read more of this blog post »
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The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope
The Monsters We Defy
by Leslye Penelope (Goodreads Author)
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This historical fantasy set in Washington, D.C. in 1925, incorporates Black folk traditions of magic with Penelope’s imaginative extensions. The main character, Clara Johnson, born at a dark crossroads, emerges with a caul covering her body and the a ...more
" Connor wrote: "As I live in Brisbane I was excited to see this but reading things like this "A True Queer Epic" (Can we do away with the overly romant ...more "
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The Admiral’s Wife by M.K. Tod
The Admiral’s Wife
by M.K. Tod (Goodreads Author)
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M.K. Tod’s latest historical fiction, The Admiral’s Wife, is a dual time story set in Hong Kong. The young British admiral’s wife of the title, Isabel, arrives there with her husband and daughter in 1912. Her culture shock amid this crowded and utter ...more
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The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
The Witch's Heart
by Genevieve Gornichec (Goodreads Author)
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Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon
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Helen of Troy by Margaret George
Helen of Troy
by Margaret George (Goodreads Author)
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The Fugitive Colours by Nancy Bilyeau
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Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Historical Fictio...: This topic has been closed to new comments. November 2015 Nominations - Mythology HF 100 387 Sep 17, 2015 10:05PM  
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

54239 Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction — 5719 members — last activity 3 hours, 54 min ago
The focus of this group is historical fiction set in Ancient and Medieval eras(with some post Medieval), in any geographical location. Preference is g ...more
19126 The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group — 24120 members — last activity 45 minutes ago
“It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled across the sky. Rain spattered a mysterious, hooded stranger who peered over th ...more
22454 Historical Fictionistas — 12864 members — last activity 1 hour, 18 min ago
Welcome to Historical Fictionistas! We want to experience all different kinds of HF with all different kinds of people. The more diverse, the better. ...more
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ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!- from current fiction, thrille ...more
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This is a group for people who enjoy many different genre's. If you are someone who appreciates a good book, regardless of the genre...this is the gro ...more
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Where every hour is happy hour.
435 History is Not Boring — 2020 members — last activity Jul 12, 2022 04:46PM
Why do people think history is boring? I don't get it. ...more
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A group for writers and readers to meet and discuss books and the writing process. The group allows promotion of books, but please post in the designa ...more
6449 Jewish Historical Fiction — 644 members — last activity Nov 25, 2022 05:19AM
For those that love Jewish historical fiction representating as many cultures, countries, and time periods as we can find.
648340 Gals of the Southwest Book Club — 124 members — last activity Feb 12, 2021 05:29AM
Ladies who reside in the Southwest, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma are welcome. We are a fun place to get together and chat about our love o ...more
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Comments (showing 18-67)    post a comment »

message 67: by Judith

Judith Starkston Nila wrote: "Hello -

Thanks for the offer of friendship. I'm happy to be with you.

Not only did I enjoy your review of "Naughty in Nice," I bought it with the audio. Many thanks for introducing me to another ..."

I enjoy Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series the best, so you can always give that series a try when you run out of Georgie ones.


message 66: by Nila

Nila Hello -

Thanks for the offer of friendship. I'm happy to be with you.

Not only did I enjoy your review of "Naughty in Nice," I bought it with the audio. Many thanks for introducing me to another author who is new to me.

Thanks again, Nila


message 65: by Judith

Judith Starkston Marquise wrote: "Hello, Mrs Starkston! Thank you very much for your friendship request! I'll be delighted to follow your reviews as well, and hope to read your own book on Troy as soon as I can. :)"

Thank you! If you have trouble finding a copy, try through my website. It's temporarily out of print, although there are usually used copies around. But I have plenty and you can buy it via my website. Not the easiest arrangement and hopefully not necessary for much longer, but such is life in publishing today. I look forward to hearing what you've enjoyed reading.
Judith


Marquise Hello, Mrs Starkston! Thank you very much for your friendship request! I'll be delighted to follow your reviews as well, and hope to read your own book on Troy as soon as I can. :)


message 63: by Judith

Judith Starkston Majenta wrote: "Hello, Judith! Thanks for contacting me, Friend Request Accepted! Congratulations on your books. I hope you are well and will have a great week ahead. Happy reading, writing, and everything else. B..."

Thank you! I look forward to "seeing" you around Goodreads.


message 62: by Majenta

Majenta Hello, Judith! Thanks for contacting me, Friend Request Accepted! Congratulations on your books. I hope you are well and will have a great week ahead. Happy reading, writing, and everything else. Blessings!

Best wishes from Majenta


message 61: 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 60: 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 59: 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 Marie 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 57: 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 56: 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 55: by Shilpa

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


message 54: 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 53: 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 52: by Craig

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


message 51: 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 49: 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 47: 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 46: by Hannah

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


message 45: by Judith

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

See you around Goodreads.


message 44: by Judith

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

See you around Goodreads.


message 43: by Ben

Ben Kane Thanks for your friend request, Judith!


message 42: 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 hi Judith, thanks for the friend invite. I look forward to books, discussions and friendship with you!


message 39: 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 38: 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 37: by Hayes

Hayes Hi Judith, nice to meet you!


message 36: 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 35: by kento

kento Thank you for the friend invitation! :D


message 34: by Judith

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

"See" you around Goodreads!


message 33: 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 32: 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.


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 Cork *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 :)


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