Ithaca - The Songs of Penelope (Hardback)
  • Ithaca - The Songs of Penelope (Hardback)
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Ithaca - The Songs of Penelope (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 400 Pages
Published: 08/09/2022
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Waterstones Says

The first chapter in a sweeping and evocative new historical series from the author of Notes from the Burning Age, Ithaca recounts the timeless story of Penelope who, waiting for the return of her husband Odysseus from the Trojan War, is hounded by prospective suitors.

This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Beyond Ithaca's shores, the whims of gods dictate the wars of men. But on the isle, it is the choices of the abandoned women - and their goddesses - that will change the course of the world.

Seventeen years ago, king Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and the women have been left behind to run the kingdom.

Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. Whilst he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that husband is dead, and suitors are starting to knock at her door...

But no one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus' empty throne - not yet. Between Penelope's many suitors, a cold war of dubious alliances and hidden knives reigns, as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip one way or another. If Penelope chooses one from amongst them, it will plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war. Only through cunning and her spy network of maids can she maintain the delicate balance of power needed for the kingdom to survive.

On Ithaca, everyone watches everyone else, and there is no corner of the palace where intrigue does not reign...

From the multi award-winning Claire North comes a daring, exquisite and moving tale that breathes life into ancient myth, and tells of the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men. It's time for the women of Ithaca to tell their tale...

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780356516042
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 619 g
Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Claire North brings a powerful, fresh and unflinching voice to ancient myth - darkly fascinating, raw and breathtaking' - Jennifer Saint, author of SUNDAY TIMES bestseller ARIADNE

Everything I've wanted in a retelling: a vibrant cast, full of suspense, told with a phenomenal narrative voice - this is an absolute masterpiece - Sarah Bonner, author of HER PERFECT TWIN

Told in the arresting voice of the goddess Hera . . . Ithaca conjures up a world in which women, abandoned by their men, must weave their own destinies - THE TIMES

Claire North has set a new standard for Ancient Greek retellings. Absolutely sublime - Hannah Lynn, author of ATHENA'S CHILD

Richly poetic . . . This is an impassioned plea for the lost, disenfranchised queens of ancient Greece, a love letter to the silenced women of history - BOOKLIST

Full of cunning and intrigue - WOMAN & HOME

A gorgeous, emotive feminist retelling of the classic Greek myth of Penelope - BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Like Penelope at her loom North both weaves and unweaves, teasing out the threads of Homeric myth to recombine them into something unique, wonderful and urgently contemporary - M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

There is something fateful about The Songs of Penelope trilogy: that this voice would come to this story, a pairing so perfect it was worth waiting a few thousand years for. North's writing is evocative, vibrant and delightfully witty - capable of rending your heart in two or clutching at your sides with only a few words from a scathing and surprisingly ardent godly-narrator. - Bea Fitzgerald, author of GIRL, GODDESS, QUEEN

The queen of the gods narrates a crackling tale of secrets and intrigue... this is a ground-up view of Greek myth populated by spying maids, crafty merchants, and conniving queens. It's taut, suspenseful, and full of Hera's delightfully dyspeptic attitude. A thoroughly enjoyable exploration of Penelope's side of the ancient story - KIRKUS

This is a story as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, as witty as it is intelligent. If you're going to delve into Greek retellings, let it absolutely be this one - THE FANTASY HIVE

North's novels are always complex and intricately weaved, and Ithaca is no exception. Narrated by Hera, it immerses you in Penelope's story and the wider tales of other women, both goddesses and slaves, as well as Penelope's son and her suitors . . . This fascinating and multi-layered novel won't disappoint. - CULTUREFLY

The book shines and is clearly written for the women, telling the stories the poets won't. These characters are given depth; they are entertainingly and deeply flawed, ultimately grappling with their own place in a patriarchal society . . . North has penned a beautiful character study, offering a nuanced take on feminism, power dynamics and the identity of mothers. The groundwork laid for the sequels leaves relationships to be repaired and characters to face further growth. We are given a closing montage in Ithaca for the future to come in what is sure to be an insightful, original and assumption-cutting series - BOOKREPORTER

I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. As an added bonus, I've also just discovered some wondrous news; a sequel called House of Odysseus is set to follow. This won't be the last we see of Penelope. How very splendid. I cannot wait for more - THE ELOQUENT PAGE

Ithaca introduces the many, many characters beautifully and really lays the groundwork for an enjoyable and poignant series - BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY

North's talent shines out - SUNDAY TIMES

North goes from strength to strength - GUARDIAN

An original and even dazzling writer - KIRKUS

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“Superb Greek Mythology”

A complete change in style and genre from the usual dystopian fiction for the marvellous Claire North, however Ithaca still boasts her exquisite quality of writing and wicked sense of humour.
Ithaca is narrated by... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 23
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.

“Epic.”

This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before.
The gods are capricious in their ways, their whims dictating the wars between men, their desires impacting the lives... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 23

“The story that the poets would not tell...”

This book was absolutely glorious. This is the story of Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and is the story that the ancient poets would not tell. While greek mythology alludes to the cleverness of Penelope,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 22

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