Last of the Amazons
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The author of the international bestsellers Gates of Fire and Tides of War delivers his most gripping and imaginative novel of the ancient world–a stunning epic of love and war that breathes life into the grand myth of the ferocious female warrior culture of the Amazons.
Steven Pressfield has gained a passionate worldwide following for his magnificent novels of ancient Greece, Gates of Fire and Tides of War. In Last of the Amazons, Pressfield has surpassed himself, re-creating a vanished world in a brilliant novel that will delight his loyal readers and bring legions more to his singular and powerful restoration of the past.
In the time before Homer, the legendary Theseus, King of Athens (an actual historical figure), set sail on a journey that brought him into the land of tal Kyrte, the “free people,” a nation of proud female warriors whom the Greeks called “Amazons.” The Amazons, bound to each other as lovers as well as fighters, distrusted the Greeks, with their boastful talk of “civilization.” So when the great war queen Antiope fell in love with Theseus and fled with the Greeks, the mighty Amazon nation rose up in rage.
Last of the Amazons is not merely a masterful tale of war and revenge. Pressfield has created a cast of extraordinarily vivid characters, from the unforgettable Selene, whose surrender to the Greeks does nothing to tame her; to her lover, Damon, an Athenian warrior who grows to cherish the wild Amazon ways; to the narrator, Bones, a young girl from a noble family who was nursed by Selene from birth and secretly taught the Amazon way; to the great Theseus, the tragic king; and to Antiope, the noble queen who betrayed tal Kyrte for the love of Theseus.
With astounding immediacy and extraordinary attention to military detail, Pressfield transports readers into the heat and terror of war. Equally impressive is his creation of the Amazon nation, its people, its rituals and myths, its greatness and savagery. Last of the Amazons is thrilling on every page, an epic tale of the clash between wildness and civilization, patriotism and love, man and woman.
From the Hardcover edition.
blood tie of the free people. Beyond this bond, however, and noblest of all unions, tal Kyrte believes, is that of friend. Once I died in your arms, Mione. Find me now, lest I wander across this lifetime alone and without you. At age seven, after passing her horse trials, a maid chooses and is chosen by two friends. With them she forms her first trikona, the triple bond of life and death. In addition each girl partakes of two other trikonai: a second, of which she is a novice apprenticed
however, I never saw such stuff. Perhaps, my friend, your celebrated endowment provided you entry to a steamier quarter of the camp.” The companies responded with much profane chaffing of their comrade Dew Lap. “My experience was the opposite,” Uncle resumed when the levity had abated. “I never saw an Amazon mate in the open and I challenge any to declare he has. They build bridal bowers, most modest, of willow stalks plaited with limbs of white poplar. They select a grove in a high meadow or
madness. Such thinking engenders greed and avarice, acquisitiveness and niggardliness. It rends brother from brother, making men to count and measure everything. Is this ‘progress’? Progress to what? “Does our guest imagine that the nations of tal Kyrte have stood, for want of intelligence or industry, incapable of building cities? We don’t want cities! To dwell within such a press of humanity deforms the soul. Give us silence and solitude, which purify and concentrate the spirit. Shall we build
they stood upon the instant of approving a motion to pursue the fugitive all the way to the Black Sea if necessary, exacting vengeance not on her alone but whatever remained of her race, wiping them out at last and for all time. Our king rose upon his hobbled leg. The herald set the speaker’s skeptron in his hand. “Men of Athens,” Theseus began, “I stand in awe of this demonstration of spirit. Would that the commonwealth could call upon such zeal in all her perils. Yet you will acquit me, I
Victory or death No outcome other Victory or death What treasure was going up in smoke! The merchants who tracked the army could not bear it, but dashed in among the tents, seeking to retrieve items of value. The column burst into laughter, succeeded by cheers. In and out of the flames the vendors shuttled, cloaks smoking and beards scorched, to snatch the prize of a copper skillet or emerge triumphant bearing a Mysian carpet. The horn sounded. The column stepped off onto the floe. At its