Thursday, August 25, 2022

#Review - Blood of Troy by Claire Andrews #YA #Historical #Mythology

Series: Daughter of Sparta (#2)
Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Young Adult / Historical / Mythology

The sequel to Daughter of Sparta thrusts warrior Daphne and her love interest, the Olympian god Apollo, into the middle of the Trojan War in an epic YA fantasy reimagining of Greek mythology.
A year after saving the powers of Olympus by defeating Nyx, the Goddess of Darkness, Daphne is haunted by still-looming threats, her complicated feelings for the god Apollo, and the promise she made to the Olympian gods that she would help them again when they called upon her. When their command finally comes, it is deceptively simple: secure herself a spot as one of Queen Helen’s guards.
A war is coming, and all of Sparta must be prepared.
In the midst of a treaty summit among the monarchs of Greece, Daphne and Helen uncover a plot of betrayal—and soon, a battle begins that leads to all-out war. As the kingdoms of Greece clash on the shores of Troy and the gods choose sides, Daphne must use her wits, her training, and her precarious relationship with Apollo to find a way to keep her queen safe, stop the war, and uncover the true reason the gods led her to Troy. But the gods are keeping more than one secret, and Daphne will be forced to decide how far she is willing to go to save those she loves—and whose side she’s on in a war that is prophesied to be the downfall of her people. 

Blood of Troy is the second installment in author Claire Andrews Daughter of Sparta series. I do recommend that interested readers first read the first installment to get a better understanding of not only the world the author has created, but the key characters who are involved in the series. Summary: Spartan Mothakes Daphne Diodorus earned the respect of her people, and brought her Kingdom a year of wonderful harvests and fortuitous alliances thanks to what she did to help the missing Muses. But not everyone is a fan of Daphne or her desire to become a full fledged Spartan warrior.

Last year, Daphne faced off against Ares, Hermes, and Nyx, the Goddess of Darkness, who hasn't forgotten that Daphne interrupted her plans for the Olympians. Nyx now expects Daphne to fear her and is relentless in her wrath appearing everywhere she goes and sometimes causing undo attention. Summoned to Olympus because of the promise she made to the Olympian gods that she would help them again when they called upon her, Daphne finds herself dealing with yet another challenging situation. 

Their command is deceptively simple: secure herself a spot as one of Queen Helen’s guards. Daphne is told that a conflict is coming to Sparta, and she needs to be among those protecting her own Queen Helen or all will be lost. Which means being part of a competition, including her own brother, to gain favor as Shield of Helen. After winning her position, Daphne and Helen have to deal with an alleged treaty summit with all factions of Greece plus Troy showing up. 

At this point, Daphne's world gets much more dangerous after the Fates tell her that a war never seen before will encompass the entirely of the known world and Daphne will be at the center of what happens next. If Daphne fails to protect Helen, she will find herself on the bloody fields of Troy watching as a great country falls to the war of the Gods, and the likely fall of Olympus itself. No pressure! Daphne seriously has her hands full. She has conflicting feelings for Apollo. She ends up in Troy with Helen where we obviously meet characters like Hector, and Paris, and later Achilles and Odysseus. 

So, let me repeat what the author has said. If you think you know everything there is to know about the Trojan War, and how Troy fell, you are about to get your mind blown. I think one of the things the author does well is to give an actual voice to Helen and not just assume that she ran away with Paris thus giving Agamemnon reason to war on Troy. I also had no choice but to feel for Kassandra who has always been portrayed as someone with mental issues. Had her father and brothers listened to her, there may have been a different outcome.

Plus, readers will finally get an understand as to who Daphne really is and what her heritage is and why the Gods are so silent when it comes to revealing who her father is. And, yes, there is a cliffhanger ending, and thus there will be a third installment in this series. This book is a who's who of almost all the key players in the Trojan War including Ares, Hermes who seems to have his own agenda, and of course, Nyx. I noticed while writing this review that the third book has a title. Storm of Olympus. I can't wait to find out what happens next. 

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