Daughters of Sparta
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Daughters of Sparta : A tale of secrets, betrayal and revenge from mythology's most vilified women

3.92 (5,580 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Two sisters parted. Two women blamed. Two stories reclaimed.

'Required reading for fans of Circe . . . a remarkable, thrilling debut' - Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

'Fluent and persuasive. I admire the ambition with which Heywood tackles the subject, to which she brings freshness and verve. I enjoyed it very much' - Elizabeth Buchan, bestselling author of The Museum of Broken Promises

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.

Perfect for readers of Circe and Ariadne, Daughters of Sparta is a vivid and illuminating retelling of the Siege of Troy that tells the story of mythology's most vilified women from their own mouths at long last.

Helen of Troy and her sister Klytemnestra are reimagined in this gorgeous retelling of the classic Greek myth - not as women defined by their husbands and lovers but as battle-weary survivors of a patriarchal society who take control of their own destiny. Absolutely riveting!' - Alka Joshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Henna Artist
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 36mm | 567g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529349931
  • 9781529349931
  • 203,602

Review Text

Daughters of Sparta has such a compelling narrative; it is utterly absorbing from beginning to end. I found it both captivating and poignant; an enthralling and powerful tale of family politics, gender constraints, love, betrayal and revenge, with a masterful handling of feelings and emotions that truly resonates down the ages.
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Review quote

The story of the Trojan War has been told for close to three millennia and writers are still finding ways to refashion it . . . Seen through the eyes of Klytemnestra and her sister Helen, the war proves very different from the Homeric conflict with which we are familiar . . . [Heywood] tells her story vividly, setting it convincingly in the period. * Sunday Times * Fluent and persuasive. I admire the ambition with which Heywood tackles the subject, to which she brings freshness and verve. I enjoyed it very much -- Elizabeth Buchan Daughters of Sparta has such a compelling narrative; it is utterly absorbing from beginning to end. I found it both captivating and poignant; an enthralling and powerful tale of family politics, gender constraints, love, betrayal and revenge, with a masterful handling of feelings and emotions that truly resonates down the ages. -- Laura Carlin Helen of Troy and her sister Klytemnestra are reimagined in this gorgeous retelling of the classic Greek myth - not as women defined by their husbands and lovers but as battle-weary survivors of a patriarchal society who take control of their own destiny. Absolutely riveting! * Alka Joshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Henna Artist * 'Heywood's wondrous retelling of the lives of two ancient princesses struggling for independence and agency in a patriarchal society resonates deeply in today's imperfect world. Required reading for fans of Circe, and a remarkable, thrilling debut.' * Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue * Brilliantly compelling . . . the perfect balance between historical authenticity and characters who I really connected with -- Sarah Bonner An immersive, intimate take on a well-known tale. By focussing on the diverging fates of two sisters, Heywood reveals the private lives of these women to be just as compelling as the epic events unfolding around them. -- Amanda Block If you love epic books about Greek mythology and the often misunderstood or misinterpreted women within these tales, Daughters of Sparta should be right at the top of your reading list. It's a vividly written and compelling retelling that brings the Spartan princesses to life with all the human fortitude and foibles you'd expect from flesh and blood people. I'm already impatiently awaiting the reveal of the next set of female perspectives from the ancient world that Claire Heywood will be writing about in her second novel. * CultureFly *
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About Claire Heywood

Claire Heywood is a scholar of the ancient world, having gained a 1st Class BA in Classical Civilisation and an MA with Distinction in Ancient Visual and Material Culture, both from the University of Warwick. Her deep understanding of the ancient world, coupled with her fascination with women's forgotten voices, inspired her to retell the legend of the Trojan War from the perspective of two key female characters. She is a former professional tour guide at the Roman Baths museum in Bath and now writes full-time.

Daughters of Sparta is her first novel. She is currently doing research for her second novel, which will also be set in the ancient world and feature different female perspectives.
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Rating details

5,580 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 26% (1,449)
4 45% (2,526)
3 24% (1,319)
2 5% (256)
1 1% (30)
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