Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood
For millennia, two women have been blamed for the fall of a mighty civilisation – but now it’s time to hear their side of the story . . .
As princesses of Sparta, Helen and Klytemnestra have known nothing but luxury and plenty. With their high birth and unrivalled beauty, they are the envy of all of Greece.
Such privilege comes at a high price, though, and their destinies are not theirs to command. While still only girls they are separated and married off to legendary foreign kings Agamemnon and Menelaos, never to meet again. Their duty is now to give birth to the heirs society demands and be the meek, submissive queens their men expect.
But when the weight of their husbands’ neglect, cruelty and ambition becomes too heavy to bear, they must push against the constraints of their sex to carve new lives for themselves – and in doing so make waves that will ripple throughout the next three thousand years. (publisher)
The book is told from the alternating pov’s of Helen and Klytemnestra. I liked the first part, which concentrating on their childhood and getting to know the characters. The Trojan War part was shorter and felt somewhat rushed.
I liked Klytemnestra’s chapters much more than Helen’s. Helen came out as a spoiled, thoughtless, and silly girl to whom things “just happened”.
There were some parts of the mythology missing that left some gaps in the story. There is no wooden horse, instead, the city is just suddenly sacked without really explaining how this came to be. How did the soldiers get inside Troy? There were no mentions of Kassandra’s visions, which are a huge part of Kassandra’s story. Although, it was nice seeing the friendship between her and Helen.
Despite all this, I quite enjoyed the book. Just not as much as I thought I would.
Published: Hodder & Stoughton (July 22, 2021)