(Cover picture courtesy of Kobo Books.)
Enter a world where legend and reality blur. Queen Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful and desirable woman in the world is both renowned and condemned for prompting a war. Two great powers—the Achaeans and Trojans—fighting a bloody battle where thousands of men died. The grounds of Ilium steeped in their blood. Gone is the age where heroes tread the earth with their magnificence and god given gifts.
But did this all happen as we have been led to believe?
(Blurb excerpt courtesy of Luciana Cavallaro’s website.)
[Full disclosure: Luciana Cavallaro provided me with a free ebook copy of her short story in exchange for an honest review.]
This is my first ever short story review, so please bear with me.
However, this is definitely not the first short story I’ve ever read. If I’m going to be honest, it’s probably one of the best I’ve read. I enjoyed The Curse of Troy so much that I wish it had been longer, say novel-lenth. Luciana Cavallaro’s approach to the famous legend of Troy was most definitely unique and it’s one that I’d like to see more of.
Told from the point of view of a young historian talking to the much older Helen after the events of the Trojan War, The Curse of Troy offers a much more sympathetic version of events. I don’t want to give too much away, but have you ever considered that Helen was completely innocent of pretty much everything she was accused of? This sounds quite incredulous, but I assure you that Luciana Cavallaro has packed enough information in this 30 page short story to make you see just such a possibility.
Even in such a limited format, the character of Helen came across very well. Having Helen tell her version of events to our first-person narrator was an interesting approach and we were able to see her reflect upon her youth with an older, more mature perspective. Her interaction with the unnamed young historian (our narrator) also revealed quite a bit of her character. Make no mistake: this story is about Helen, not our mysterious narrator. That doesn’t mean our narrator is necessarily one dimensional—he’s not—but it provides us with a fresh look at the (in)famous woman of legend.
I give this story 5/5 stars.
*Only available as an ebook.