For our Athens Friends’ Association we have this coming Wednesday, October 4th the third book presentation and reading by the Vancouver-based travel journalist and author W. Ruth Kozak. Previously when Ruth was in Athens she gave us a dramatic reading from Blood on the Moon, the first book in her historical novel trilogy, Shadow of the Lion. This epic trilogy is about the aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the bloody contests among his Successors to rule the vast empire he created. Last October she gave us a preview of her second work.
The second volume, The Fields of Hades, which was published last fall, picks up where the story left off. This novel seethes with conflict and dramatic tension as the Successors begin to battle over Alexander's territories. The joint-kings arrive in Pella just as the Regent is dying and has named Polyperhcon his successor. This sets Kassandros into a rage and he departs to Athens where he stirs up animosity between the Athenians and Macedonians and tries to enlist support from some of the other Successors. Meanwhile, the royal women vie for control of the throne. Alexander's 18-year-old niece, Adeia-Eurydiike, wife of Arridaios, leads her faction in a civil war against Olympias, Alexander's mother. Caught up in the strife and palace intrigues, Roxana tries to protect her son Alexander IV (known by his Persian name, Iskader). The boy tries to understand his role and struggles to survive. The story ends on a climax of a true Greek tragedy, the end of Alexander's dynasty, fulfilling the novel's theme of "How blind ambition and greed brought down a world power."
The presentation and additional readings from Ruth’s second novel will take place in the library of the Canadian Institute at Dionysiou Aiginitou 7, Ilisia (ground floor) starting at 19:30.