- Library Binding
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1435299418
- ISBN-13: 978-1435299412
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
Goddess of Yesterday
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Cooney offers an exciting and rich tale of love and war amid the backdrop of ancient Greece. Historical detail immerses the reader into the story, and insight into customs and religion makes this a strong choice for school curriculums. Several Greek myths are retold throughout the story from Anaxandra posing as Medusa to Zeus's many conquests. Characterizations are excellent. May have a limited audience of Caroline Cooney fans and Greek mythology buffs, pair with McLaren's Inside the Walls of Troy (Atheneum, 1996) and Adele Geras's earthier Troy (Harcourt 2001) for discussion.
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. But knowing the original version, or in the case of younger readers, being inspired by the story to seek out Homer's version, brings enjoyment by seeing how Cooney has "tweaked" the well-known characters to create a new story completely.
This is definitely not a retelling of the story of the Fall of Troy, but a side story inspired by it. Don't forget to read the author's note at the end!
Anaxandra is a wonderful heroine. Though she lies about her identity, she is just trying to keep herself and the little prince Pleis alive. This is not a soft and fluffy girls story, rather, Anaxandra witnesses some bloody horrors of war, is constantly in danger, is treated unkindly, and ultimately attempts to rescue Pleis from being murdered, and to escape from Troy.
Her other adventures include danger from a storm at sea, falling in love with a foreign king, meeting up with the strange prophetess girl Cassandra, who is locked up in the king's tower, and disguising herself like a boy in the marketplace. Her "goddess of yesterday" is the goddess she prays to, and on whom she relies to get her out of her troubles.
I appreciate the author's afterword, in which she explains which details of the book came from the stories passed down by the ancient writers, and which parts she made up. She also explains that it is not known if the story of Helen and Paris is fact or myth, but that if it did really happen, it would have been about 1250 B.C. This is a great book for young readers/teens who love Greek mythology, or who are just being introduced to it.
When Prince Paris of Troy visits Sparta to pay his pay blood respects to Appolo for stabbing a little boy he falls in love with Helen and Helen goes willingly to Troy and even gives Paris all of Sparta treasures. Once agian Aaxandra/Callisto must betray a princess, Hermione who does not want to go to Troy. She is saved by King Priam of Troy who will not let Helen harm her. But when war breaks out between troy and the Greeks Anaxandra must find a way out with Helens two year old son Pliesthens.
This is a very good book!!!!!
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This novel is an epic story based on a little girl taken from her family by a king and taken to his homeland.Read more