The dramatic and bloody siege of Troy is one of the oldest and best of human stories, and in Goddess of Yesterday
Caroline Cooney tells it afresh through the eyes of Anaxander, the daughter of the king of a tiny Greek island. As a child she is taken as a hostage to the island of King Nicander. When she is 13, marauding pirates sack the palace, killing everyone but her. Anaxander frightens them off by pretending to be the goddess Medusa, with the help of an octopus as a hairdo. When she is rescued by the ships of King Menalaus, she assumes the identity of a princess, Nicander's daughter, and becomes a royal guest. When Menalaus's cold and vain wife, Helen, runs off to Troy with her lover, Paris, Anaxander goes along to protect Helen's baby son. Within the walls of Troy, she is torn with conflicting loyalties as the bronze-clad warriors of Menalaus land their ships on the plains below the city and war is imminent.
The characters of the Iliad come vividly alive in this action-filled novel: the shallow and amoral Paris, the wailing prophetess Cassandra in her tower prison, and especially Hector, a big, straight-talking sweetheart. Fans of Cooney's contemporary novels like The Face on the Milk Carton will find this story of ancient Greece every bit as irresistible. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell
From Publishers Weekly
Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter; The Face on the Milk Carton) turns her considerable talent to a classical subject the prelude to the Trojan War. The cherished daughter of the chief of a tiny, nameless island in the Aegean, Anaxandra is taken as hostage by King Nicander, and brought to his home as companion to his daughter Callisto. When pirates attack Nicander's island, Anaxandra the lone survivor is taken in by King Menelaus of Sparta, who believes she is the Princess Callisto. In the court of Menelaus and his gorgeous but cruel wife, Helen, Anaxandra has a heart-poundingly immediate view of the shocking events set in motion when Paris, a handsome prince of Troy, comes to pay a visit. Spirited off to Troy itself in place of Helen's daughter Hermione, Anaxandra plays a small but crucial role in the first few days of an epic war and makes peace, at last, with her stolen identity. Cooney's trademark staccato narrative style gives the proceedings a breathless urgency, and if her telling lacks the grandeur of Adle Geras's Troy, for example, her gift for adopting the voices of adolescent girls results in a compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths. Ages 12-up.
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