Adrienne Mayor impressed me with her book Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, & Scorpion Bombs. To have her tackle the subject of the Amazons, a subject of personal fascination to me… suffice it to say, I expected big things. And I got bigger things.
Beginning with the myths of Atalanta, this book quickly delves into the historical and often contradictory accounts behind the legends through critical examination of archaeological evidence, literature, and art. The scope of it is nothing less than astounding as the level of influence the Amazons had on the ancient and modern worlds becomes known. No stone is left unturned. The personalities are examined in as much detail as the clothes, the weapons, and the territories they staked out.
As narrator, Fran Tunno does a respectable job for the most part. However, she also joins a great many throughout modern culture who have difficulty pronouncing many of the names. She pronounces the “w” in “sword,” so you can imagine how badly mangled some of the Amazonian names become by comparison. Some of these names will have different pronunciations, and it gets a little cartoonish at times. But if you can deal with that, the strength of her delivery is otherwise quite solid.
This is a book that will eventually see hardcover for my personal library. Part of that is due to the sheer amount of quality information, and part of that is because there are constant references to photos and illustrations that are not packaged with the audio.