Quiver by Stephanie Spinner

Atalanta: She is famous for being a great hunter and for being very fast. As a child, she was abandoned. She has no idea who her parents are. In this story, the author decides her parents are King Iasus and Clymene. Others attribute her parentage to Schoneus. She has become a follower of Artemis and wants to prove that she is as good as any man. As someone devoted to Artemis she had taken a vow of chastity. Here is also a video that tells, not completely accurately, her story.
picture: (http://the1bookblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/quiver-stephanie-spinner.html)video: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcsaQn8M1kk)

Artemis: This Greek goddess is the offspring of Leto and Zeus. She is the patroness of the wilderness, the hunt, wild animals and fertility. She is, however, a virgin goddess. She asked her father to protect her virginity and she punished any man who tried to take it from her. She spent her time roaming the woods and hiking.

Apollo: The twin bother of the goddess Artemis. He is the god of music, prophesy, colonization, medicine, archery, poetry, dancing, intellectual inquiry, shepherds and those who use herbs to heal. He completed many tasks including slaying the large snake (or dragon) Python who was plaguing the village of Pytho. He, like is father Zeus had numerous love affairs with nymphs and mortals and had many children. His most famous infatuation was with the nymph Daphne.


Aphrodite: She is the goddess of love and beauty. She was apparently created when her father, Cronus, was castrated and his genitals thrown into the ocean. Aphrodite rose from the water surrounded by aphros ("sea foam"). She had many lovers, both mortal and god. Some believe one of her sons is the god of love, Eros.

Eros: Is the god of love and sexual desire. Many believe him to be the god of fertility also. Some think him to be the son of Aphrodite and Ares. He is often depicted as a young, usually chubby child who shoots arrows of love on those who are not expecting it. His work usually causes mischief.

Zeus: He was the youngest son of Cronus, a titan, and Rhea. He is the supreme ruler on Mount Olympus. He is believed to be the god of weather. Many depictions show him with a bolt of lightning. Legend says that Cronus, fearing his children's powers, swallowed them. Rhea, fearing for young Zeus, gave Cronus a rock to swallow instead. When Zeus grew, he tricked his father into spitting out his offspring. The gods then became stronger than the titans. Zeus fathered numerous children with many women.

Atalanta was abandoned as a baby because she was a girl and raised by a she-bear, and then hunters. She becomes a follower of Artemis and takes a vow of chastity. She takes part in the famous Calydonian Boar Hunt, hoping to display that she is as good as any man. She proves herself and wins. The king, Iasus, reveals that he is her father and, since he is without a male heir, he plans to marry her off so she can produce male heirs to continue the line of succession. She agrees, as long as the man can beat her in a race.

My Review
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and gave the reader a great character to root for. It seemed very modern in a way, even though it was set in ancient Greece. I was glad that the book focused on a powerful, independent woman. I think this would be a great book to share with young girls, or just a class in general.

The Status of Women
Women were not seen as equals to men in ancient Greece. Most did not know how to read or write and had no power in government. One quote from history says, "A man who teaches a woman to write should know that he is providing poison to an asp." Marriages were arranged and the father of the bride would select the man he wanted his daughter to marry. When Atalanta said she would not marry the man her father chose, that was an action unheard of at the time. She also was more active and independent than other women. Source

The Calydonian Boar Hunt


The hunt was originally organized because Artemis sent a wild boar to plague Calydon because King Oeneus had not completely a proper sacrifice to her at the time of the harvest. A large party was gathered to hunt down and kill the beast. It wasn’t an easy task and many men were killed. Atalanta was able to injure the beast and Meleager was finally able to kill the creature. Meleager actually fell in love with Atalanta and gave her the beast’s pelt because she was the first to draw blood. His uncles were not happy that the hide was awarded to a woman and, during an argument with their nephew, he killed them. Meleager’s mother then arranged his death because he killed her brothers. Source

Education Information and Importance
The School Library Journal recommends this book for Grade 7-10.
Topics to discuss with a class:
1. Chastity and Commitment
2. A Strong Female Character
3. Abandonment
4. Learning About and Overcoming Your Past
5. Gender Roles Throughout History

Useful Links

Here are some useful links for you to learn more about the novel.