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The Lost Sisterhood    by Anne Fortier order for
Lost Sisterhood
by Anne Fortier
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I very much enjoyed Anne Fortier's previous Juliet, which looked at the romantic tragedy of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers from a new angle. Now, in The Lost Sisterhood, the author rewrites Homer's Iliad, together with her intriguing version of a history of the Amazons.

She takes a similar approach as in Juliet, moving back and forth in time between a modern quest and (imagined) historical events. And, again, she gives us challenged romances in both eras. In the past, we have young huntress Myrina, who seeks a place of refuge for her blind sister Lilli and so joins the priestesses of the Moon Goddess. After brutal Greeks butcher many priestesses and rape and kidnap others (including Lilli), Myrina leads the survivors on a rescue mission.

This venture would have probably failed miserably without the intervention and help of Trojan Prince Priam who falls hard for Myrina. But what of the historical Helen you ask? She's in there too, but her role is rather different from the one we've read of before. And, after the fall of Troy, Myrina again leads survivors to fulfill a most surprising destiny.

In the modern day, Diana Morgan is a philologist, lecturer at Oxford with a passion for all things Amazon. This came to her, along with a bronze jackal bracelet, from her troubled grandmother, whom the family had always believed to be mentally ill. Diana's perilous adventure begins with an invitation from a stranger to help translate an inscription that will prove that Amazons really did exist.

She meets Nick, who works for the sinister Aqrab Foundation, and doesn't know what to make of him - villain or just an adventurer? They go their separate ways but meet again and again, in different countries. And who are the formidable women who also appear again and again as Diana pursues her quest?

Although I found the plot transitions awkward at times, I liked what Anne Fortier did with the tale of Helen of Troy and her imagining of the origin of the Amazons, how they might have evolved, and the great treasure they might have guarded. If any of these topics intrigue you, you'll enjoy The Lost Sisterhood as much as I did.

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