Goddess of Yesterday Library Binding – Jun 12 2008
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|Library Binding, Jun 12 2008||
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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.
The characters of the Iliad come vividly alive in this action-filled novel: the shallow and amoral Paris, the wailing prophetess Cassandra in her tower prison, and especially Hector, a big, straight-talking sweetheart. Fans of Cooney's contemporary novels like The Face on the Milk Carton will find this story of ancient Greece every bit as irresistible. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter; The Face on the Milk Carton) turns her considerable talent to a classical subject the prelude to the Trojan War. The cherished daughter of the chief of a tiny, nameless island in the Aegean, Anaxandra is taken as hostage by King Nicander, and brought to his home as companion to his daughter Callisto. When pirates attack Nicander's island, Anaxandra the lone survivor is taken in by King Menelaus of Sparta, who believes she is the Princess Callisto. In the court of Menelaus and his gorgeous but cruel wife, Helen, Anaxandra has a heart-poundingly immediate view of the shocking events set in motion when Paris, a handsome prince of Troy, comes to pay a visit. Spirited off to Troy itself in place of Helen's daughter Hermione, Anaxandra plays a small but crucial role in the first few days of an epic war and makes peace, at last, with her stolen identity. Cooney's trademark staccato narrative style gives the proceedings a breathless urgency, and if her telling lacks the grandeur of Adle Geras's Troy, for example, her gift for adopting the voices of adolescent girls results in a compulsively readable story and may well lead readers to other Greek myths. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Her main character in this novel, Anaxandra/Callisto/Hermione, fits well into the genre of the "strong female lead" YA heroine. Cooney's version of the story, while fresh and a bit cheeky, is ultimately predictable - we "get it" early on that our heroine has defied convention by carrying on with her tomboy ways, that she is an inspiration to the more sedate princesses she is paired with, and that her unbreakable spirit will triumph in the end...she even conveniently finds true love and a neutral zone to survive the downfall of Troy.
Something I quite enjoyed about this fast but engaging read were the depictions of Helen and Paris. Helen is completely without empathy, a self-centered, bored beauty who walks away from husband and children without a second glance. Paris is without merit as well, having used his physical beauty to slide through life, the penultimate spoiled rich kid, grabbing whatever he likes and counting on his strong family connections to protect him from the consequences of his actions. We know how he will meet his end if we've ever read the Illiad, and we quietly applaud the nasty fate that awaits him - something Cooney does not include in this story, which ends in the very early stages of the War.
Cassandra and Hector, and for that matter Menelaus, Priam and many others, were well-handled and described in Cooney's tale to add credibility to her story.
Yes, Cooney has taken many liberties with the "classic" Homerian Fall of Troy saga.Read more ›
So it is refreshing to find now and again a book that deals with this subject, and is actually *interesting*, suspenseful and surprisingly good. Such is Caroline B. Cooney's "Goddess of Yesterday". Although all of the mythological details and events of the War are correct (at least as far as I could see), the author brings new personalities to well-known characters, thoughtful insights on blasphemy and the nature of gods, and a likeable young heroine that blends so easily into the events leading up to the War that one might be surprised not to find her mentioned in ancient sources!
Anaxandra is the beloved daughter of a chieftain father in a small rocky isle, taken away from her home and family as a tribute/hostage of King Nicander, who places her in his own household as a companion to his own crippled daughter Princess Callisto. Despite homesickness, Anaxandra adjust to her new life, only to have it shattered once more by pirates who plunder Siphnos. Thanks to an ingenious disguise, Anaxandra is the sole survivor, and when the ship bearing King Menelaus pulls in to investigate, she lies to ensure her future: telling the King of Sparta that she is the Princess Callisto.Read more ›
This novel is an epic story based on a little girl taken from her family by a king and taken to his homeland. Throughout the novel the young girl, Anaxandra, begins her journey from the moment she steps onto her king's ship (she generally calls all of the kings she ends up living with her own), and her journey ends in a battle of great proportions.
Anaxandra spends most of the story under the name of a fallen princess -Callisto- who is murdered along with her family and kingdom by a band of pirates. She is rescued by another King and that is when the novel's pace begins to quicken and the reader is drawn into a world of love- for child, for man, and for god/goddesses- and also despair and disappointment.
The novel is set in the time of the Trojans and visits kingdoms including among others. This is a novel to be enjoyed by many people in various age groups in that it could be both a love story and an adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to try something new, and who knows? Maybe somebody else will like it also. It was a big surprise to me that I found it so interesting.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the best book! It gets you hooked and you can't stop. If you love: adventure,history,courage, or fate THIS is your book. Its about Anaxandra. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004
This story is told by Anaxandra, a sialors daughter who was tooken hostage at age six. She becomes the playmate of King Nicander's daughter Callisto. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2004 by Hermione
I really enjoyed GODDESS OF YESTEREDAY because it was written in a form that really was interesting to me. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2004
A whole new view of Helen of Troy, the woman whose face launched a thousand ships, is delivered through the eyes of Anaxandra, a sailor's daughter masquerading as a princess after... Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2003 by Elizabeth S. Gallaway
"Goddess of Yesterday" is clearly one of the best books ever written. The way the author perceived Helen was how I imagined her to be. Read morePublished on July 17 2003 by Rosie
I just loved this book! I have been a fan of Caroline B. Cooney's for years ever since I read Face on the Milk Carton and this is just another great story. Read morePublished on June 29 2003
How can any respectable person like this book? The inaccuracies are numerous and laughable. The author giving Helen four children is sickening. Read morePublished on May 21 2003
Caroline Cooney could make me enjoy her version of a phone book but I particularly applaud this cleverly written novel of ancient Troy. Read morePublished on March 20 2003 by CLM