Antigone and Creon: Guardians of Thebes

Written by Alice Underwood Victoria Grossack
Review by Steve Donoghue

The authors’ magnificent Tapestry of Bronze series continues with this latest volume, a richly atmospheric and refreshingly multi-faceted look at the the story made famous by Sophocles’ Antigone: the clash of wills and ideologies between King Creon of Thebes and his high-spirited niece Antigone over the burial rites of her dead brother. When Antigone defies Creon’s orders, the king sentences her to entombment without food or water, and the stage is set for a tense, gripping variation on the familiar ancient Greek story.

The novel is told in rapidly rotating sections with different focal characters; readers get all sides of the famous quarrel, all related by three-dimensional characters. At one point Creon muses, “They say that wine poured into the earth wakes the ghosts of the dead so that they can speak to us. I’ve never known that to work.” But something very like that happens in these Tapestry of Bronze novels. Enthusiastically recommended.