By Helen's Hand (Helen of Sparta #2) by Amalia Carosella
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback;
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: With divine beauty comes dangerous power.
Helen believed she could escape her destiny and save her people from utter destruction. After defying her family and betraying her intended husband, she found peace with her beloved Theseus, the king of Athens and son of Poseidon.
But peace did not last long. Cruelly separated from Theseus by the gods, and uncertain whether he will live or die, Helen is forced to return to Sparta. In order to avoid marriage to Menelaus, a powerful prince unhinged by desire, Helen assembles an array of suitors to compete for her hand. As the men circle like vultures, Helen dreams again of war—and of a strange prince, meant to steal her away. Every step she takes to protect herself and her people seems to bring destruction nearer. Without Theseus’s strength to support her, can Helen thwart the gods and stop her nightmare from coming to pass?
My Review: By Helen’s Hand picks up where Helen of Sparta ended. After Helen had tried to thwart the prophecy, she finds that her fate of causing the Trojan War seems imminent. When she arrives back home, she finds that many suitors, including her intended husband, Menelaus, are competing for her hand. Meanwhile, far away in Troy, Paris, a shepherd's son, has plans to steal Helen away and make her his lover. Could Helen find a way to prevent her nightmares from happening?
Helen is a much more sympathetic character than she was in Helen of Sparta. Because Helen knows the destruction that she will wreak, she feels the weight of responsibility on her head. She, unlike the other characters surrounding her, sees the big picture, yet they do not heed her warnings. Because of this situation, Helen is powerless. Yet, no matter how much the characters have tried to get her to accept her fate, Helen is determined to make her own destiny. I really did like this Helen. She had grown since the first novel. Helen is very compassionate. She wants to be a good queen and cares for her people. She is also very observant and intelligent. As she goes through these trials in this novel, Helen has shown her inner strength. Thus, Helen is a determined figure, and readers find her a worthy opponent to defy the gods.
Overall, this book is about family, love, friendship, fate, and choices. This novel is about a woman’s quest to find her own happiness. While Helen is the main narrator in this novel, I did like the few chapters about the men surrounding Helen, including her suitors and Paris. I felt that these chapters helped us to understand these characters more, especially Paris. Paris was a very naive individual who did not think about the consequences of his actions. Another aspect that I liked about this book is that there are more Greek myth tales in this novel. The only thing that I did not like about this book was the ending. I felt very robbed of the ending because it was very out of character and out of place. Still, this was a very enjoyable read, and I could not put it down. I recommend this book to those who are interested in Greek Mythology and for those who want to read more about this fascinating woman of legend.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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