When it comes to books, I rarely read retellings. It seems like the most recent ones I read all belong to the same genre- Greek Mythology (2021 consisted of “Song of Achilles” and “Circe”). Now, I had read “Daughters of Sparta”, which is the women’s side of “The Iliad” (as in their POV).
As princesses of Sparta, Helen and Klytemnestra have known nothing but luxury and plenty. With their high birth and unrivaled beauty, they are the envy of all of Greece. But such privilege comes at a cost. While still only girls, the sisters are separated and married to foreign kings of their father’s choosing–the powerful Agamemnon, and his brother Menelaos. Yet even as Queens, each is only expected to do two things: birth an heir and embody the meek, demure nature that is expected of women.
But when the weight of their husbands’ neglect, cruelty, and ambition becomes too heavy to bear, Helen and Klytemnestra must push against the constraints of their society to carve new lives for themselves, and in doing so, make waves that will ripple throughout the next three thousand years.
Daughters of Sparta is a vivid and illuminating reimagining of the Siege of Troy, told through the perspectives of two women whose voices have been ignored for far too long.Goodreads
I already had it clear that I love Greek Mythology- one of the reasons why I love the culture of Ancient Greece. I was drawn to “Daughters of Sparta” because the cover literally said “required reading for “Circe” fans”. This was my 2nd “Iliad” retelling I read—–I actually like “The Iliad” (so in some ways is fascinating seeing it told from different POVs). Now, we are focusing on two sisters- Helen and Klytemenstra, who are of royal birth. The book does a wonderful job switching between them- as in making it clear whose POV we are on now.
In some ways, It was like reading “The Iliad” from their perspective. It kinda of gave me a different opinion on some characters. We barely get to know those women in Homer’s story, but at least they finally have a voice in “Daughters of Sparta”. Meaning we get to know them better. It almost made me think differently about some of the warriors fighting in The Trojan War. Some of those men seem more evil in this book- especially knowing how these women felt.