“Athena watches from the shore. Artemis prowls in the forest. And in the belly of the earth, the Furies are stirring.”
Published in 2022 and the first book in The Songs of Penelope series, Ithaca by Claire North follows the story of Penelope who was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. While he lived, her position was secure. But then King Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them has returned, and the women of Ithaca were left behind to run the kingdom.
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’ empty throne — not yet. But everyone waits for the balance of power to tip, and Penelope knows that any choice she makes could plunge Ithaca into a bloody civil war. Only through cunning, wit, and her trusted circle of maids, can she maintain the tenuous peace needed for the kingdom to survive.
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