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Monday, September 22, 2014

From the Pages of The Iliad: Judith Starkston's Hand of Fire


My Review: Hand of Fire is an expertly researched book that blends both the history and mythology of the Trojan War. I've always been intrigued by the character of Briseis, inspiring as she did Achilles' temporary withdrawal from the fighting, and here she comes to vivid life: her early years as a priestess of Lyrnessos, her first marriage to Mynes, and her brutal capture by the Greeks. This is a unique look at the Trojan War, told as it is from the point of view of a slave who commanded the love of one of the greatest epic heroes in history.

Summary: The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.

About the Author: Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin, and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever, Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.


Amalia T. Dillin said...

I'm definitely going to have to check this out. I read another book about Briseis a while back, which I cannot for the life of me remember the title of now, which was divided up by her lovers or... something. I thought it was interesting. A little bit oddly framed, but interesting.
(Ah ha!! it was Daughter of Troy by Sarah B. Franklin)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I've read Franklin's book a couple times, Amalia. Briseis is such an enigmatic character, worthy of several retellings!

Mark Noce said...

An endlessly fascinating topic. Looks like a great read! :)