As a descendant of the mythical Pandora, Vara the Conqueror is cursed with the vices her ancestor set free. The only way to stay sane is to heed the malevolent Furies that urge her to acts of evil.

Meanwhile, Nikolai, part demigod and part mortal with the ability to see the future, has been sent by mother Hera to free Vara from the curse. But to reach the woman she could be, he'll have to first destroy the woman she is. The mythical setting of THE PANDORA CURSE is not historically accurate (a fox hunt in ancient Greece?), and the interesting premise gets bogged down by the characters' repetitive internalizations and the author's lack of external action.

The liveliest scenes are between Hera's amusing minion, Baruch, and Nikolai. If more of that spark were in the romantic relationship, this would be a better book. Rose's attempt is ambitious but falls short of its potential. (Oct., 260 pp., $12.95)

Reviewed by: 
Rebecca Carefoot