Arch-Conspirator review: Ancient Greek tragedy spun into sci-fi gold

Veronica Roth’s dystopian take on Sophocles’s 2500-year-old tragedy reminds us that human nature is timeless, finds Sally Adee


1 February 2023

Uncertain young woman standing on the street at night. This is entirely 3D generated image.

In an unnamed dystopia, citizens face dangerous reproductive rules

Gremlin/getty images


Veronica Roth (Tor)

THERE isn’t much world-building in Veronica Roth’s sci-fi retelling of Sophocles’s classic Greek tragedy Antigone. Then again, in Arch-Conspirator, there isn’t much world. A dusty dystopian city (Thebes in the original, but it isn’t clear where we are in the reboot) is all that remains after a thinly sketched environmental polycrisis has turned humanity into an endangered species.

Or, at least, that is what a reader surmises. The citizens don’t seem to know much about the arid …

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