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Ithaca

On sale

6th September 2022

Price: £9.99

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Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9780356516035

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‘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

***A Sunday Times Historical Fiction Book of the Year***

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.

‘The greatest power we women can own is that which we take in secret.’

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

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

No one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’s empty throne – not yet. But as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip, Penelope knows that any choice she makes could plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war . . .

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 . . .

‘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

‘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

‘Claire North has set a new standard for Ancient Greek retellings. Absolutely sublime’ Hannah Lynn, author of Athena’s Child

The Songs of Penelope novels:
Ithaca
House of Odysseus

Reviews

Hannah Lynn, author of ATHENA'S CHILD
Claire North has set a new standard for Ancient Greek retellings. Absolutely sublime
SUNDAY TIMES
North's talent shines out
GUARDIAN
North goes from strength to strength
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY
Ithaca introduces the many, many characters beautifully and really lays the groundwork for an enjoyable and poignant series
BOOKLIST
Richly poetic . . . This is an impassioned plea for the lost, disenfranchised queens of ancient Greece, a love letter to the silenced women of history
CULTUREFLY
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.
Jennifer Saint, author of SUNDAY TIMES bestseller ARIADNE
Claire North brings a powerful, fresh and unflinching voice to ancient myth - darkly fascinating, raw and breathtaking'
THE FANTASY HIVE
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
M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
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
Bea Fitzgerald, author of GIRL, GODDESS, QUEEN
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.
WOMAN & HOME
Full of cunning and intrigue
KIRKUS
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
THE ELOQUENT PAGE
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
KIRKUS
An original and even dazzling writer
BOOKREPORTER
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
Sarah Bonner, author of HER PERFECT TWIN
Everything I've wanted in a retelling: a vibrant cast, full of suspense, told with a phenomenal narrative voice - this is an absolute masterpiece
BELFAST TELEGRAPH
A gorgeous, emotive feminist retelling of the classic Greek myth of Penelope
THE TIMES
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 Songs of Penelope