Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hand of Fire by Judith Starkston

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.

Briseis is a captive princess and a healer during a time of war with Ancient Troy. Her father betroths her to the crown prince known for his penchant for violence and brutality. Through great wit, she manages her new husband, despite receiving a few intermittent beatings at his vicious hands. Miserable, she manages to escape when Greeks raid her city and she is captured by the legendary Achilles. Trapped amid the violent times and her love for Achilles, she must maneuver her way through treachery to find fulfillment and happiness.

The author has vividly recreated ancient Hittite empire through the point of view of a strong, savvy heroine. Well researched, the author enriches the strong plot with vivid details of daily life, the violent military, mysteries of the healing arts, and the politics of the era. This is a true gem for those interested in the historical fiction of antiquity. Nicely written indeed.

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