Rummanah Aasi
 I've been interested in Greek Mythology for as long as I could remember. When I came across Kerry Greenwood's Delphic Women which retold the myths of Jason and the Gold Fleece, the Trojan War and its aftermath from the point of view of the important female characters, I knew I had to read them. Greenwood makes the myths come alive and provides a different spin on characters who were once thought to be weak and one dimensional.

Description: From Mount Olympus, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, yawned. Even perfection can be tedious. "My Lord," she called to Apollo, "Sun God and brother. Let us play a game with mortals—my power against yours."
And so Cassandra, the golden haired princess cursed with the gift of prophecy, and Diomenes, the Achaean with the healing hands, become puppets of the gods. Their passions are thwarted, their loves betrayed, their gifts rendered useless for the sake of a wager between the immortals.
Doomed, magnificent Troy is the stage, and Cassandra and Diomenes the leading players in this compelling story of the city's fall. Both have found love before, and lost it.
Will they find each other in the light of the burning city? And, if they do, can their love survive the machinations of malicious gods and men?

Review: What is stronger: love or death? Cassandra is the second book in the Delphic Women series featuring a new reimaging of popular female figures in Greek Mythology. As the title suggests, Cassandra is the focus of this novel as we watch the horrifying fall of Troy. Like Medea, Greenwood uses popular myths and new additions to the story along with well researched time period to recreate the Cassandra myth. Cassandra and her twin brother, Eleni, the children of King Priam and Queen Hecube of Troy, are a priestess and priest of Apollo the sun god. When a bored Aphrodite makes a wager with Apollo for a golden apple, the lives of Cassandra and Achaean healer Diomenes, called Chryse, are forever changed as they become pawns of the gods.
 Cassandra, as some of you know, is cursed with the gift of prophecy after rejecting to sleep with Apollo. While she can clearly see what will happen to her beloved city Troy, she cannot tell others what she knows. While Cassandra is growing and learning in Troy, we see Chryse becoming a gifted healer whose life is forever changed when he is called upon to treat his first love, Elene (aka Helen) of Sparta, the most beautiful woman in the world. Though she's married to Menelaus, Elene is nevertheless sought by many powerful men, and a war will soon be fought over her. When Elene runs off to Egypt with Cassandra's arrogant brother Pariki (Paris), the Achaeans have the perfect excuse to declare war on Troy even though they know that the Trojans would gladly have given her up had she not remained in Egypt. The story then follows the major events of the Trojan War.
  I was completely sucked in to this new story of Cassandra. Normally, Cassandra is depicted as the frail girl who harbors a horrible curse and eventually gets kidnapped, raped, and killed, however, she is a completely different person in Greenwood's version. In this book, Cassandra is a strong female character even in the worst circumstances. She never backs down and continues to fight against the gods. Chryse is an equally fascinating character who meets famous mythical figures and is passionate about medicine. Though their story lines are told in alternating chapters they eventually intersect in an interesting fashion. The ending of Cassandra's story was a nice surprise and I'm very curious to see how it pans out in the next Delphic Women book, Electra.
  The destruction of Troy is vividly illustrated and the settings come to life as their own characters in this book. I thought it was very interesting how Greenwood approaches romantic love as their are several relationships throughout the book. It was not uncommon for the people of this time to have more than one romantic partners. If you are a serious fan of Greek Mythology I would definitely recommend picking up the Delphic Women series by Kerry Greenwood. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence including rape and sexual situations throughout the book as well as language. Recommended for mature teens and adults who enjoy and are serious about Greek Mythology.

If you like this book try: The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
5 Responses
  1. Aylee Says:

    So this series retells myths from the point of view of the women and the author fleshes out their characters and makes them stronger? Wow. That sounds AMAZING! I definitely approve :) What a great idea.


  2. Jenny Says:

    While the multiple romantic partners aspect isn't my favorite (though I know it's fitting of the time), I love the sound of everything else! I couldn't love Greek Mythology more, and I honestly don't know more than the basics on Cassandra, so I can't wait to read this version of her. Fantastic review Rummanah!


  3. Oh I love retellings and greek mythology. The twist to Cassandra sounds interesting and this series is something I need to check out!


  4. Candace Says:

    I've been burnt out on mythology but actually this one sounds like it may deliver a bit more than the others I've read. I'm actually quite curious now!


  5. I'm not a fan of the cover but I love reading Greek mythology retellings and plan on reading the first book in this series eventually. As much as I like the sound of a stronger Cassandra, I'm more curious about Diomenes since I've never heard of him. Do you know if he was an actual mythological figure, Rummanah?


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