Greek gods and mortals spring to life in this riveting retelling of the myth of Atalanta, the fleet-footed girl warrior who could outrun any man in ancient Greece.
Cast off and abandoned at birth, Atalanta– saved by a she-bear and raised by hunters–proves herself to be a superior archer and the fastest runner in the land. But her skills and independence anger many, including her father, the Arcadian King, who suddenly reclaims her and demands that she produce an heir to the throne. Atalanta has pledged herself to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, who has forbidden her to marry. Unwilling to break her promise, Atalanta suggests a grim compromise: she will marry the first man to beat her in a race, but everyone she defeats must die. All the while, Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite, Eros, and Zeus himself watch–and interfere–from on high.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Quiver|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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The caw of a crow warned me first. Then it was their smell--so rank it made my eyes water.
I had never been so close to centaurs before, though of course I had seen them. There were many in my native Arcadia--wild, filthy creatures, notorious for their lack of restraint, and far more dangerous than satyrs. When they drank--as they often did, to excess--they would rape and beat whatever women they could find, which was why women never ventured into the forests alone.
I am not alone, I reminded myself, I am with the Hunt, in Calydon.
Yet the centaurs were at hand, and the other hunters were too far off to be of help, should I cry out.
I would not; I would rather die.
They came at a gallop, legs churning, chests heaving.
I could run as swiftly as they. Indeed, I could outrun most creatures, human or otherwise. But there were two of them, and they were lust-maddened.
I drew my bow.
On they came, one with a torn ear, the other with a bulbous, red-veined nose. They were large and coarse and frightening, with none of the capering insolence that made their goat brothers almost endearing. Both had rough piebald coats, long, matted tails, and hooves as big as mallets.
Their stink was fearsome.
I shot the one with the red nose first. He reared. I hit him again, and he fell, snorting blood. I loosed two arrows, then three, at the other. He was so close when he toppled that I could feel his heat. He cursed me, groaning and choking. I backed away. They were huge creatures, and their great hooves kicked out as they died.
"Safe crossing," I whispered.
Then I heard a soft whistle that rose and fell like a question--Meleager, looking...