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    Review of QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS by Judith Tarr (see her website)

    TOR, March 2004

    When the Amazon Queen's daughter is born without a soul, the Amazon tribes are torn. Some want to kill the child, but the Queen swears that, soul or not, her daughter will become queen. And Selene, a seer haunted by unwanted visions, volunteers to head the princess's bodyguards. Since the soulless child seems to soak off the effect of Selene's visions, it isn't a bad bargain--at first. Although the princess is soulless and cannot talk, she has a way with animals and weapons. When she takes off one day, Selene, the Queen, and the Queen's military leader follow--as the princess leads them to Alexander the Great.

    Alexander is in the midst of his world conquest. Unlike the soulless princess, his soul overflows his body and the princess is attracted to him to the point where the Macedonian warriors call her his dog. The princess seems happy but Selene's visions return and she sees Alexander dying young. What will happen then, expecially when the Queen also dies, is anyone's guess.

    Author Judith Tarr (see more reviews of novels by Tarr) brings Alexander, his Macedonian soldiers and his Persian allies to life. Alexander's unquenchable appitite for more--more conquest, more wine, more fame--drives the story. In the hands of a writer as capable as Tarr, this verve and historical detail makes the story worth reading. For me, the book is weakened, however, by Selene's basic lack of a story goal and by the question of why the Goddess felt it necessary to create the soulless princess in the first place. I kept expecting some great deed that could only be accomplished by a princess without a soul--or a princess who had found a soul. But the resolution of the story, although exciting, didn't differ much from what could have been accomplished if the princess had been born with a soul and we'd never gone to visit Alexander in the first place.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 4/25/04

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