Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Helen of Troy: The final post

I finally conquered Troy!

Yesterday, before I read the last page of the book and the afterwords by the author, I was ready to rant and rave about how selfish and vapid Helen was and how ridiculous everyone seemed with their claims of seeing the future and being visited by gods every other day....then I learned that it's a good possibility that she never existed and is simply a myth. How can I get self-righteous with a myth?

But seriously, I couldn't feel any sympathy for Helen and Paris. They should have known better. Paris was 16 so he was probably letting his hormones do the talking but Helen was a grown woman.
She knew her brother-in-law was looking for a fight with Troy and so she runs away in the middle of the night with the Prince of Troy and was shocked that they would gather a vast army and invade? Please!
She left her daughter behind and she left her parents to deal with the humiliation and we're supposed to swoon over the great love affair? Whatever, Helen!

So, all ranting aside, this was a lovely read. Margaret George does an amazing job of transporting us back to a time that may or may not have existed. It seemed real to me.
She gave each character such distinct personalities that they all came alive.
However, the character of Helen and the authors interpretation of Cleopatra were very similar. I guess being queens of ancient lands, you'd imagine they'd have similar personalities or Margaret George has a formula for her ancient queens.
I've got her story of Mary of Magdelene on my TBR list. Surely, Mary's character will be different.

Bottom line: great read, enchanting writing.

Helen of Troy gets:


Kristin Dodge said...

LOVE this review. I never really "felt" the great love. I felt the lust of it. Helen needed a couple quick slaps.

Should we give it a few months and try this again with Mary of Magdalene?

Jinx said...


I would love to take Mary out for a spin in a few months.
Just let me know when you're ready. I have plenty of books to occupy me until then, never fear. :)