Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bring Down the Sun (Alexander the Great, #2)” as Want to Read:
Bring Down the Sun (Alexander the Great, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bring Down the Sun (Alexander the Great #2)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  186 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Alexander the Great ruled the greatest Empire of the ancient world, but he was ruled by his mother, called Olympias. There are as many legends about this powerful Queen as there are of her famous son, and the stories began long before she even met Philip of Macedon.
Priestess of the Great Goddess, daughter of ruling house of Epiros, witch, and familiar of Serpents...she wa
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Tor Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bring Down the Sun, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bring Down the Sun

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Morgan Dhu
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Judith Tarr writes wonderful historical fantasy. She takes real characters, places and times, and tells a story that builds on is known about them, imbuing the tale with the mystery of gods and magic.

In Bring Down the Sun, Tarr tells a story about Olympias (also known as Polyxena and Myrtale), the mother of Alexander the Great, following the outlines of her life as recorded by Plutarch, several centuries after her death. The magic enters the tale from the beginning, with the young Polyxena bein
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Judith Tarr has written a highly entertaining and readable mythological account of the mother of Alexander the Great. There is just enough fantasy and mystical elements to place the narrative in that liminal space between genres. This is a world where Thessalian witches fly beneath the face of the moon and priestesses of ancient deities work magical rites and deliver oracles. Where the children of heroes like Achilles are born under auspices and omens that foretell their destinies. Where the mys ...more
A little too Freudian, if you get my meaning. Not to mention the magic system made no sense whatsoever. Literal Fetus Alexander the Great doing magic in his mother's womb was the definite camel back-breaking straw.
Leila Anani
I was so excited when I discovered this. Olympias is once of my favourite characters from the world of Alexander and criminally overlooked - While she features in most novels about her son I can't think of another where she is the protagonist (I can think of 6 with his wife Roxanne as the heroine) but none with Olympias - one of the strongest female personalities of the Ancient world. So imagine my glee when I found this!

Sadly I was very disappointed. I was really annoyed at the way the characte
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
May 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 17, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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.
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Kristyn Jensen
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
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".
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
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Rena Sherwood
Jun 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Note to Judith Tarr: You are not Marion Zimmer-Bradley. Give it up.

Princess Cinnamoroll
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads
Such gorgeous prose!
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Read my review here.
Lynn Calvin
Amazon received
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Give me that real old time religion with a hefty dose of intrigue.
Jan 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
chris tierney
rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2013
Heather Coffey
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2008
rated it it was ok
Feb 21, 2009
rated it it was ok
Aug 22, 2017
rated it liked it
May 17, 2016
rated it liked it
May 18, 2011
Kay Robinett
rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2015
rated it it was ok
Jul 31, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Moon in the Mirror (Tess Noncoire #2)
  • Memnon
  • A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects
  • At the Palaces of Knossos
  • Seer of Egypt (The King's Man, #2)
  • Great Sky Woman (Great Sky Woman, #1)
  • The Witches' Kitchen (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #2)
  • Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)
  • The Cosmic War: Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics, and Ancient Texts
  • The Lute Player
  • Living with Ghosts
  • The Lion Wakes (Kingdom #1)
  • The Ninth Circle
  • Dream Weaver (Norse/Mohawk Trilogy, #2)
  • The Mayan Code: Time Acceleration and Awakening the World Mind
  • The E.T. Chronicles: What Myths and Legends Tell Us about Human Origins
  • The Starving Artist's Way: Easy Projects for Low-Budget Living
  • King of Ithaca (Adventures of Odysseus, #1)
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)
  • Queen of the Amazons (Alexander the Great, #1)

Share This Book