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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Review: For The Most Beautiful
For The Most Beautiful
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy Courtesy of the publisher, Transworld!
Three thousand years ago a war took place that gave birth to legends - to Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks, and Hector, prince of Troy. It was a war that made - and destroyed - both men, a war that shook the very foundations of the world. But what if there was more to this epic conflict? What if there was another, hidden tale of the Trojan War that had yet to be told?
Now is that time - time for the women of Troy to tell their story.
Thrillingly imagined and startlingly original, For the Most Beautiful reveals the true story of true for the first time. The story of Krisayis, daughter of the Trojans' High Priest, and of Briseis, princess of Pedasus, who fight to determine the fate of a city and its people in this ancient time of mischievous gods and mythic heroes.
In a novel full of passion and revenge, loyalty and betrayal, bravery and sacrifice, Emily Hauser breathes exhilarating new life into one of the greatest legends of all - in a story that has waited millennia to be told.
I like to think that one or two of you have been reading my reviews for a while, and so a few of you should know something about me, but for those of you who don't....I'm a history nerd. One of the areas of history I'm obsessed with? Ancient Greece. I guess I liked all the stories of the Gods and watched Hercules one too many times as a kid, but there you go!
I couldn't resist getting started on this book near enough straight away when I received it, I mean..the ladies of the Trojan War. All the big names are in there, but we get a better look at two lesser known ones. Briseis and Krisayis. As well as a nice look at Cassandra I might add, the look we got at Helen wasn't all that flattering, if I'm honest.
For The Most Beautiful is inspired by the poem the Iliad, if you haven't read it, you might fancy giving it a go after reading this! Hauser has given us a really nice Author's note with lots of information about the Iliad and the story she's told, as well as guides to characters, place, pronunciation and other reading you might want to do. I must say, I geeked out a bit reading all of that as much as the actual book, but anyway, the author will tell you aaaalllll about it in her Author's Note so I won't be expanding too much on the poem!
ANYWAY. Guys. I might have people disagreeing with me on this but I totally felt like this was The Hunger Games: Greek Edition. I loved the story, really I did, but some of my favourite parts where the Gods. Throughout the book we not only get the ladies point of view, but we also get glimpses of the Gods, I found myself laughing quite a bit at them as well and rolling my eyes, they're so perfectly brought to life and embodied from what I've read in other books! But they're all kind of casually chilling up on Mount Ida, after you know, casually starting a war, sitting there watching everything unfold and influencing things. Like a bit of plague here....a miraculously improved aim there. I just could so easily picture the Gods as the Game Makers in The Hunger Games and all the characters we know as the tributes. Sorry, it's an odd comparison but it's one that sprang to mind!
I got completely lost in the book, becoming more and more gripped as we went through events before the war, up to where the poem kicks off and onwards. The writing was compelling and wove a story full of so much pain and betrayal and treachery and bravery and so on. It was all woven together, the book made you feel a lot of things. The authors writing really brought the Trojan War to life, it was vivid, the imagery was fantastic, you felt like you where there, strolling along. Well maybe not strolling in the war parts, but whichever the setting it had an atmosphere all of its own, and it was brought to life before your eyes.
I have to say, at this stage, that I have never really liked Helen and Paris. The two are just like "yeah..don't worry I'll bring you back to Troy with me" "omg Paris thanks so much" *casually starts war* *Paris is completely useless* *casually sit back and let everyone else fight for them in the WAR THEY BROUGHT* and in this book, I actually ended up just plain disgusted with them. Hector was too though, so it's all good! I mean seriously. The dude hides in his room while his brothers die, and their soldiers die and it's his fault. But you know. Whatever.
The other characters however, I came to like a lot! Including Achilles, which was a surprise after seeing him through Briseis eyes in the beginning! I'm not going to talk much about the characters we all ready know fairly well. I want to talk about Briseis and Krisayis, because they where so freaking fantastically created. I loved them. They where brave, they where strong, they both went through a hell of a lot and came out the other side. Sort of. Briseis could have taken revenge at one point near the end, she really could have, but she didn't. She got what she finally wanted, heartbreaking as it was. Krisayis also never gave up on what she set out to do and took such huge risks to help her people and was instrumental in convincing the King to make a particular moved that saved so many people. I just couldn't get over how utterly fantastic these characters where. They really came to life before my eyes, and I was rooting for them and heartbroken for them and just connected with the both of them a lot and wanted them to succeed.
For The Most Beautiful is a completely fantastic read, yes, it did take me a little while to get completely gripped by it, but I was intrigued from the start by the premise and the opening scene. I ended up gripped as the events of the book played out, and our brave female characters showed their true bravery and took risks to help the people they loved. I'm so intrigued to see what the author is going to do next, and I'm expecting great things!