This review was written by Dinaz Kastrinaki, a good friend who was with me from the conception of SHADOW OF THE LION and read the earliest drafts. It was presented at the reading at the Athens Centre on September 24/14
I started reading ‘Shadow of the Lion’ in the early 90s, when it was still in its infancy, and I was hooked. I remember my frustration at it not being ready and having to wait to see what happens next. I therefore did the next best thing. I discussed it with Ruth as much as possible, and this continued until Ruthie’s last visit to Athens. The memories of those long, excited sessions on my verandah over a glass or 3 of wine still make me smile and will always be very precious to me.
Ruth, being the bright little bundle of energy she is, plunged with gusto into unearthing any information she could about Alexander and his dynasty, not just by poring over endless history books in the library but by actually visiting places in Greece that were part of this history. This in-depth research as well as her enthusiasm and love for what she was doing become very obvious when you read the book.
I have now read the book from cover to cover (finally!!) and I just couldn’t put it down, even though, having read several drafts over successive years, I sort of knew what would happen next. The characters are so alive, so real, that I felt I was meeting old friends again. I had grown to love them and I had missed them. And, true to its title, Alexander’s golden shadow follows you through the book.
The descriptions are so vivid – I felt I was actually there, dazzled by the colours, breathing in the spices and the incense, hearing the chanting of the Magus and the tinkle of Roxanne’s bangles – the novel unfolded before me like a frieze. I didn’t just enjoy it, I learned from it and I lived it.
Oh, and one more thing, kids would enjoy it too. My son was a little over 10 when he read his first draft and enjoyed it immensely.
Ruthaki mou, bravo! Bravo not just for your obvious talent and knowledge but for your spirit, your dedication and your endless enthusiasm all of which have made the novel what it is. For me, it’s a beloved, brilliant book. Bravo dear friend.
And by the way, if there are any television producers in the audience, I would advise you to grab the TV rights, it would make a fantastic series J