|Thanks to Bonnie at A Backwards Story for this awesome all things myth weekly meme.|
Okay, for this week's Mythological Mondays I decided to go with an old favorite. I found a copy of Caroline Cooney's The Goddess of Yesterday at my local library's annual book sale. I've never read anything by her before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I can tell you what I got, however-- a whole heaping lot of AWESOME. Here's a snippet from Amazon:
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.Yep, that's right. It's a story about Helen of Troy. Complete with a Trojan Horse and all. Oh, and don't forget about Cassandra the cursed prophet of Troy. She's in there too.
I've always wondered what Helen of Troy was like. I just couldn't believe that she could leave her kingdom for some studly foreigner. This book does a fantastic job of portraying Helen of Troy as a (for lack of a better word) bitch. Seriously. Cold hearted. But Helen isn't the focus of the story. The real story lies in Anaxander and her many horrifying experiences. She is the epitome of a strong-willed protagonist. It was hard to believe she was meant to be so young throughout this whole story. She is cunning, smart, strong, loyal, and compassionate. I loved her role in the book.
If you haven't read this book, you should certainly check it out. It satisfies my love of all things myth related, while offering plenty of action and adventure (and romance). How could you ask for more?