The Just City (Thessaly #1) (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

I've never read Plato's Republic, but I certainly did send up invocations to Pallas Athene as a child, studying Greek mythology and wanting to be like all the heroines I read about. I wonder if that would have qualified me for entrance into THE JUST CITY--an experiment, by Pallas Athene, to create the Republic. The city in these pages is populated by scholars taken from all eras of time, robot workers from the future to do the heavy lifting, and ten year-old children from Greek city-states to learn, grow, and become philosopher kings. Oh, and it's on Atlantis. This captivating novel trades viewpoints between students of the city, masters taken out of their own times, and Apollo, who's decided to be born as a mortal to see what all the fuss is about. It all runs smoothly until Sokrates turns up, and--well, I won't spoil it for you. Enjoy it.

— Liz


"Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent."

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future--all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer's daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome--and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo--stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does--has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives--the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself--to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

About the Author

JO WALTON won the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 2012 for her novel Among Others. Before that, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Tooth and Claw won the World Fantasy Award in 2004. The novels of her Small Change sequence--Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown--have won acclaim ranging from national newspapers to the Romantic Times Critics' Choice Award. A native of Wales, she lives in Montreal.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780765332660
ISBN-10: 0765332663
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: Thessaly