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Tapestry of Bronze

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We are happy to announce the winners to the Spring 2012 Odes to Olympians contest honoring Ares.  The winner in the adult category is Amberle L. Husbands, with her poem “You Heard What?”  The winner of the under-18 category is Andei Zoe Engracia, with “Raging Love and War.”

There were many other great poems.  In the honorable mention category for adults, we have Frank Murphy, Claire O’Reilly, Anne Ruddy, Julie Ropelewski, James Ph. Kotsybar, Alonzo Nunez and Paul Hawkes.  In the honorable mention category for the under-18s, we have Sabrina Garst, Cole Barstow, Wade Dewett, Sierra McDonald, Kyndra Forsley, Melissa MacDonald, Nikki Ryan and Michael Barnstone.

We invite everyone to scroll down and read the poems by the winners are. Come back later to learn about future contests. 

And, please visit the rest of the site! 

 

 

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The Tapestry of Bronze is a series of novels set in Bronze Age Greece. 

 

There’s no need to read our books to enter the contests, but if you like mythology, or historical fiction, or simply reading exciting stories, we think you’ll enjoy them!

 

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You may be interested in visiting other parts of our website:

 

 

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First Prize, Adults

Amberle L. Husbands

“You Heard What?”

 

Ares is dead?
I don’t believe it.
Not in these modern days.
Just yesterday, I swear,
I saw his face going down into the subway.

 

Or outside some church in Lebanon,
eating ice cream on the steps of the Pantheon,
his mouth Cherry Garcia red--thinking of something dire.

 

Ares is sketched as bloodthirsty,
written in as the ne’er do well
likely to appear at any time;
distinct from all the races, but he’s everybody’s friend.

 

Ares is still in business, keeping all the stray dogs fat,
and so is the hateful guru, with his basement napalm lab.

 

Ares is one who revolves,
strolls from the pent house down Pauper’s Lane.
The insane, and the beaten, all know his shadow,
they know that peace is fleeting,
and they know when to go underground.

 

Ares is dead?
I don’t believe it.
I saw him just now, down at the Hinge for a beer.
Had a whole crowd with him,
men in suits, wearing gold chains, heavy boots;
Ares dead?  Think again, friend--
Think twice and fear—

Ares is here

*

First Prize Under-18

 

Andei Zoe Engracia

 

“Raging Love and War”

 

It is a hunger, a thirst that draws me to you,

Your hands forever bloodied by the carnage of a thousand men.

It is unexplainable, this attraction,

And yet I find myself consumed by this that is so wrong.

 

There are no sweet nothings,

No caresses in the early morn.

Fierce, demanding, leaving me breathless,

You plunder, taking what you will before leaving.

 

It is not an affair, merely an agreement,

No commitment is needed, for it dissolves the passion.

You who are too bloodthirsty and I too vain,

Two very unlike gods held together in perfect juxtaposition.

 

And when I retire to my bed of roses,

There you will be amongst the warrior cries and trumpet calls.

Irrepressible, breathtaking, magnificent,

Beauty in the midst of battle.

 

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Honorable Mentions – Adult Category

 

Frank Murphy

“Ares at Recess”
 
Athena, in charge of imparting wisdom,
couldn’t do much with him in class
or out.  Every morning
shrieks and screams signaled the bully’s passage,
until the young ones, tired of it all, ganged up,
knocked him down, pounded-pummeled-punched,
and the playground erupted, insanity rising
like dust, small bodies falling from swings,
fists flying, feet stomping, robes ripping
as even girls—girls!—smacked
each other,
while he, on his knees, wiped his bloody nose
and grinned.

 

*
Clare O'Reilly

“Ares”

You were petulant.
Even as a child you threw your
toys about
and your friends
well, they were always
a nightmare.
I tried, God knows, I tried
but your playdate favourites -
fear, horror, strife and don’t forget
terror - didn’t help matters
I wanted you to be happy
Life’s not a popularity contest
I said, many’s the time.
Of course the Spartans were your sort-
violent, fighting, roaring around
on their chariots, screaming war.
You had your own thing going on -
while other kids loved kittens
you adored the bloody wild boar
and snakes of the world.
But, for that you were brave,
a man’s man, fearless,
frightful, you took no prisoners.
Even today I see you on the news,
avenging angel
Life’s blood on your hands.

 

*

 

Anne Ruddy

 

“Prayer of Phobos

 

O Ares, I call upon your valour

to quell the quaking of my heart,

make my mouth spew gobs of fire

like the others yoked with me.

 

War is your chief meat and drink  –

help me for I want to live.

Your helmet and spear will be

my talismans of protection.

 

The chariot wheels thundering,

your voice, enraged, goads me on

to surge towards those lines

of shields, ever advancing.

 

Closer now, their faces veiled

with metal, only dead holes

where living eyes used to be.

Air rancid with their fear.

 

To my breastplate of flesh

O Ares, buckle your spirit

so we may both prevail

bloodied and triumphant.

 

*

Julie Ropelewski

 

“On Love and War”

 

Who would not recoil at the touch

of War, shudder at the stroke

of bloodied fingers across silken

porcelain skin?  What voice—

surely not that gravel rasp,

that fleeting hiss in the ears

of a million shrieking souls—

might muster the muse’s words

to conquer the heart of the Goddess of Love?

Perhaps she looked past War’s arms,

those sinewy spears that heaved the dead,

hurled the stones, smothered the breath

from his enemy.  She cracked the armor,

layers of leathery skin, sheets of muscle,

to find the heart that lay buried within.

Still her eyes—those crystals! those raven lashes!—

unafraid met his: locked on the battlefield,

at once everywhere and nowhere,

set in the blackest depths of that helmet,

engraved by dirt and wind, burnt by Apollo’s rays.

They stare at her, lustrous orbs, fiery,

hoarded behind impenetrable shields.

No, that Goddess only extended her hand

in sweet surrender upon War’s return,

his head hung in mourning, spirit drained,

his lips asking: What is the price of victory?

 

*

James Ph. Kotsybar

 

“Ares”

 

Our valor you reward with scars and dread.

The honors you bestow leave good men maimed.

Though back from battle, lauded with loud cheer,

the din of combat still rings in the head

of each who’s seen things better left unnamed

that slaughtered friends and comrades they held dear.

 

Your vultures spread their wings in sun to dry

the stench of carrion from bloody death

picked over, after ravaged by your dogs,

while armies, trained to never ask you why,

rush on until they huff-in Hades’ breath

to join him in his misty world of fogs.

 

Heroic soldiers, these who are now gone,

will never know whose side you’re really on.

 

*

Alonzo Nunez

“Pantheon Dreams”

Ares lives in Watts' core,
I was born on Mars' hot shores.
It became more than pantheon dreams
to be from a city made from scars.
At the end of the hall drinking hope,
running wild beneath my palms.
Olympus' boulevards don't resemble ours;
drugs and guns outnumber us
as we ponder Zeus' rough love.
Hera, can you hear our screams?
Made of hope, extreme schemes galore,
curse the world for leading us ashore.
Listen to the violent
blocks whisper my name,
as it resembles Athena's pores.
In full glory armored for life,
valor by force, raised by destruction,
nothing is supposed of course.
Bring me my chariot, I'm ready to score,
savage society woes, neighborhood wars,
but never doubt our successful odor.
Running behind a triumphant colony,
we're facing humiliation without a goddess.
Oh love, save us from the hate of men,
It’s past ten and the darkness fears our names
Aphrodite loves us, Aphrodite loves us not.

 

*

Paul Hawkes

 

Aresting
 
Ares the martial figure representing the treason of war
reason gone out of the window pain leaving a trail of red gore
the ton of evil that falls to his lot when combined with his name
a knotty not another version of refusal to take blame
the rear-end of his anagram seAring Aresholes of the world
tin-Pot Pol mad dictators murder with lies around the truth curled
invading colonial empires rape the peoples' resources
dogma arrogant ignorant greed plus other vicious forces
justifying the killing frenzy cloaked in civilisation
capitalist climate chaos in the name of false religion
the god of war their hero shines forth in blazing burnished armour
machetes machine guns missiles massacre innocent farmer
legacy of Achilles Odysseus' Priam slaying spree
the lust of battle and the sack of Troy that leave us still unfree
Onward Christian Soldiers marching under the cross of Jesus
Christ he would have been gutted to have spawned such warlike followers
Mars the Brutal Roman god a cult favourite of the empire
new lows of deep depravity suckling pig blood like a vampire
the sword spear shield of the mindless bloodlust mercenary war drone
come down to us today as nuclear warheads on our nose cone
stirring military music whipping machines into frenzy
effectiveness wrecking the planet's beauty Holst would not envy
yet Ares abed with Aphrodite goddess of peace and love
tries to breach the peace or she rein him in or are they hand in glove
that fiery bright red eye burning up high in the black night sky
the ruler watching over his desperate starving people die
the narrow arrowslit of Sauron's eye in the Lord of the Rings
the arms and the man that end mankind of which poet Homer sings

 

 

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Honorable Mentions – Under-18 Category

 

Sabrina Garst

 

“The Forbidden Fruit”

 

Come home, my love, for the cripple is gone,

I have naught to do, besides sit and yawn,

Rest from the battlefield, my noble prince,

I shall find better use of your endurance,

Strip your armor and answer my call,

Find your way here, and in love I will fall,

Ares the destroyer, Ares the brave,

Just this once, there’s no need to behave,

You’re aggressive, you’re mean, you are keen to despise,

But I know you will never ignore my cries,

It is risky, it’s wrong, and may get you dead,

But please, Ares, please come back to my bed,

What we have, no god can take,

Only you can make the earth quake,

I crave your brawn, brutality, don’t make me beg!

You’re incomparable to that fool and his leg.

So now, leave at once, and don’t make me wait

I am only alive, when you’re here for a date.

It will be worth it, soon you will see,

Love, your dearest, Aphrodite.

*

 

Cole Barstow

 

Even wind tears against the blade’s speared tip

Piercing through air from the hands of merciless might;

A laugh,

A stepping stone in cataclysm,

More rips in the wind, rips in time,

More blades, more weapons, more destruction;

Flames lick at death

He watches and ignites more flames as time rips and writhes;

They spread, more battles, more blades,

He laughs.

People don’t know why they do it, the fire and weapons and death;

No reassurance would be wrought by the idea divinity caused the destruction,

Different divinity;

War lasts all of time, and he laughs with time's passing

 

*

Wade Dewett

 

“Ode to Ares”

 

God of war please hear my call

I am just a man about to fall

My enemies surround me and laugh in my face

While I pray here in this forsaken place

I know fear does not become a soldier such as I

But when faced with mortality tears come to my eye

Give me your strength and ferocity

So I may once again see my family

You are hated among gods and feared among men

A brutal deity with no love for either

 

*

 

Sierra McDonald

 

“No Chance”

 

I am running

Running away from you

Panting, pumping my legs frantically

You are following me

Not in any rush

Just reveling in the chase

You are the fastest of all the gods

I have no chance.

You destroyed everything I knew

You delight in war

You annihilated my town without hesitation

I look back

Your spear is painted scarlet

Your hands are stained crimson

I am next

I have no chance.

You are nearly upon me

I gasp for breath

You wait patiently

Wondering if the hunt is already over

I also wait for the end

Too tired of life to continue fleeing

I have no chance.

I wonder if you slaughter humans mercilessly

Because you are hated by most gods

Even by your own father

I accept my fate

I stand my ground, hoping the end will come quickly

It does.

 

*

Kestrel St Clair

 

Bright, jewel tents and gay, flying banners

Under an azure sky.

Such beautiful weather, an omen, we think,

Sent from the gods on high.

 

We fight for freedom, for justice, for good;

All the gifts they’ve given.

Surely they will rain blessings on us:

Protection sent from heaven.

 

Ares, what will we become?

 

Two armies advance and, finally, clash;

Flesh is pierced by steel.

Our offering’s now our enemies’ lives

As in their blood we kneel.

 

The battle continues, our friends have fallen,

We don’t why we fight.

Soon every soldier is counted a foe

As day gives way to night.

 

Ares, what have we become?

 

Day finally breaks; I survey the field

Strewn with our bloody remains.

Now only crows rejoice o’er our sacrifice,

And they, merely to profane.

 

Standing I see some wounded still live,

They have seen me too.

I stumble forward and felling, I fall,

My years so very few.

 

Ares, see what we’ve become?

We’ve become you.

 

*

 

Kyndra Forsley

 

Some call me Mars; others call me Ares

Simply put: I’m one entity with two personalities

I am the God of war, so fear me or dare to fight me

And if you fight me, whether through bravery or foolishness, remember that

No God is more powerful, feared, and merciless than I

My sister Athena, the God of War, comes closest

And like her, my doings in the mortal world bring only destruction

I bring death to those who hate, and grief to those who love

I bring pain, despair, ruthless turmoil

But I also bring new beginnings,

Like hope to those who have none and power to those

Who dare to dream and pursue to victory

 

*

Melissa MacDonald

 

There’s always one, isn’t there?

Black sheep

Different

Special

Especially when your sons are fear and terror

 

An insatiable desire flowing like molten lead

A cry to wrest the Earth in two

White-knuckled grip

Crazed grin

Incarnadine hands

 

Yet you bore love and love returned

Harmony to boot

The mating of violence in love

That produced such sweet chords,

A most unlikely pair

 

Where your sis has the brains

You’ve got the brawn

She’s cunning and strategy

You’re force and bloodlust

Both essential, inseparable, balancing

 

To remind us of our other side

To revel in darker pursuits

To indulge in primal urges

To gratify what society cannot

There’s a bit of Ares in us all

 

*

Nikki Ryan, OutcastPoet

 

“The Ode of our American Lives”

 

Ode to Ares god of war,

You change lives,

You give people experience and wisdom.

Time slows on the battlefield,

Right before the first bullet,

Then “I’m sorry to inform you,”

Mom starts crying her eyes out,

Heartbroken from the news of that battlefield.

Our battle is the one at home,

Ode to Ares the destroyer,

For you are influential,

In this fight for our lives,

It’s risky just walking the streets,

We worry about getting stabbed or shot,

This is the war of our lives.

Ode to Ares for making it this way,

War changes a person like society does,

For a war always exists within,

We were once in complete pureness,

Then broke away from the ignorance,

And finally the violent nature of humans is evident.

Ode to Ares for making us to be like this,

Our souls are crying blood,

Looking for refuge,

Learning we can’t trust anyone.

Ode to Ares,

For characterizing the society in which we live,

Thank you for letting us suffer,

For you also allow us to return in victory,

Much stronger than before.

 

*

 

Michael Barnhart

 

“Ares Arrival”

 

Fear strikes into the hearts of his enemies.

The trumpets clash with the growls of the hounds.

Armies fall in front of his feet. The Mighty Mars has arrived.

 

The God of war shouts as full grown men bow to his blade.

Blood flows from all who oppose.

Once the war has been won,

and his hounds announce their hunger satisfied,

Mars rides off to find another fight worth fighting.

 

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Visit the winning poems of other Odes to Olympians contests!

Winning Odes to Zeus

Winning Odes to Hera

Winning Odes to Poseidon

Winning Odes to Demeter

Winning Odes to Hermes

Winning Odes to Athena

Winning Odes to Apollo

Winning Odes to Artemis

Winning Odes to Ares

Winning Odes to Aphrodite

Winning Odes to Hephaestus

 

 

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Concerned that you don't know enough about the Olympians to write poems about them? You can explore these websites:

Parada's Greek Mythology Link: A tremendously detailed resource

Theoi Greek Mythology: Exploring Classical mythology in Literature and Art

Timeless Myths: Greek myths and others as well

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Several have wondered: who are we and why do we do this?  What exactly is this “Tapestry of Bronze?”

First, our names are Victoria Grossack & Alice Underwood.  We sponsor this contest because we want to encourage excellence and creativity.  We’re using the same method used by the Greeks back in Classical Athens: competition.  Instead of olive wreaths, we offer money and certificates for prizes.  We especially want to encourage the under-18 because we want to support educators and students in our own small way.  The idea occurred to us – most appropriately! – when we were visiting the ruins of ancient Olympia in Greece.

Second, the Tapestry of Bronze is a series of interlocking novels.  They are set in the Bronze Age of Greece – several generations before the Trojan War.  This was known to many as the “Golden Age of Heroes,” but to us they seem to be made of bronze and not gold.  Our series is a tapestry, because the books tie together, but one book may focus on one character while another focuses on another.  Each book can be enjoyed separately, or the books can be enjoyed together.  As we state above, it is NOT necessary to purchase or to read our novels in order to enter the contests.  However, purchasing the novels helps to support these contests.

Not sure if you’ll like the books?  Then electronically download a sample at Amazon.  Clicking on the covers below will take you to that company’s website.

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)  COT_cover_thumbnail (2)   RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)   

Return to Home for Tapestry of Bronze

Do you wish to contact us?  Write to us at “tapestryofbronze” at “yahoo.com”

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Our Books (in English)

      Jocasta

      Children of Tantalus

      The Road to Thebes

      Arrows of Artemis

      Antigone and Creon

 

βλία στα ελληνκα - Our Books (in Greek)

 

Odes to Olympians Contest Current:

 

Winners of Past Contests: Zeus  Hera Poseidon Demeter  Hermes Athena Apollo  Artemis Ares Aphrodite Hephaestus

 

Pronunciation Guide

 

Maps (Thebes, Pisa/Olympia, Eastern Mediterranean)

 

The Stories Behind the Stories

 

Acknowledgements, Thanks, Bibliography and Links

 

About the Authors

 

The Highbury Murders

 

Victoria's Writing Classes

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

 

Newly released!

 

 

 

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.

--Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

Newly released!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.

--Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

Newly released!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

Newly released!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

Newly released!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

Newly released!

 

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online

 

 

Buying our books helps support this and future contests!

 

jocastacover_thumbnail (3)

 

A real page-turner . . . a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it -- Historical Fiction Review

 

An absorbing, quasi-historical portrait of ancient Greece ... well-balanced update that maintains the original's mythic suspense. -- Kirkus, May 2005


COT_cover_thumbnail (2)

A world...as compelling as Tolkien's but more rooted in actual history...in the spirit of Graves's I, Claudius.
--
Bob Mielke, Professor of English, Truman State University, The Copperfield Review

 

RTT_cover_thumbnail (3)

 

The most amazing part of the series is how the authors retell the myths in such a way as to work for modern audiences.... definitely worth reading by fans of fiction and Greek mythology. --NS Gill, About.com, Ancient History

 

 

Very strongly recommended. 

- Steve Donoghue, Historical Novels Review Online