Set in the past, but the basic desires, emotions, weaknesses and fears of some charactors in life do not change, and life must still be similar to this in many parts of the world today. Gossip, malice, envy, superstition, bitterness, anger and laziness exist everywhere.I liked Hermes with his clear exposition of unintended consequences and his comments on life in general. His desire to make people think for themselves and take responsibilty for their choices.The plot flows steadily, while the descriptive parts bring back memories of Greece to the mind. I found this book very easy to read and I was interested in what had actually happened and why. It does not rush along but draws you along. i have enjoyed all that I have read by this author.