August 22nd, 2008

Book review: Bring Down the Sun

Today's book review is Bring Down the Sun by Judith Tarr.

This is a standalone novel; like most of Tarr's work, it takes a historical story and weaves fantasy elements into it.

This is the story of the mother of Alexander the Great, and an interesting vision of religious magic in those times.  Tarr does a good job with magic, as usual, but her characters are less real and engaging than in many of her books.  There is an interesting underlying story of the power of women in the world, told through a rather different version of ancient Greek religion than what we learn about when we study mythology in school.  I'm curious whether she made it up out of whole cloth or if there is some historical basis for the idea that people of that time identified Hera, Artemis, and Aphrodite as aspects of a single primal mother goddess.

The history and the magic together make a great background, but the foreground story is only moderately good; overall, certainly readable but far from great.  7 out of 10.

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