The Trojan War threatens Troy's allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles's famous captive, Briseis. Semi-Finalist for the MM Bennett's Award for Historical Fiction
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Hand of Fire grew from my love of ancient Greeks and from a psychological puzzle posed by a Trojan War tale. Achilles, a half-immortal warrior, takes a woman captive after destroying her city and menfolk--hardly a heartwarming courtship. Yet the story shows a loving connection between them, but no explanation. Achilles questions the war; he's no Stockholm Syndrome brainwasher. The answer lay deeper.
I created a young healing priestess, designated as future queen, defending her city, an ally of Troy, against both divine anger and invading Greeks. In her lay the seeds for their relationship and for a tale of hope and resiliency.
Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.
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