source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of ANDROMAKHE: Vol II by Kristina O'Donnelly (see her website)

    Diaspora, Sons and The Pillar

    Andromakhe cover (Vol. I) Troy has fallen. Betrayed by the gods and many of its own defenders, doomed by the fates, and overwhelmed by Greek trickery, Troy nevertheless stood siege for a decade. But now it has fallen, its men slaughtered, its women allotted to the victorious Greeks as loot. Volume II begins with Princess Andromakhe, once wife of the great Trojan war leader, Hektor, captive/concubine of Pyrrhos, son of Achilles. Andromakhe recognizes that she is now Queen of a defeated and broken Troy--and vows to somehow survive.

    Andromakhe has lost her great love, Hektor, and will not allow anyone, let alone the son of the man who murdered him, replace him in her heart. Nevertheless, as captive, she must submit to Pyrrhos. Ignoring hints from Pyrrhos that he would give up his ambition of marrying Hermione, daughter of Helen and matrilineal heir to the Spartan throne, if Andromakhe would love and marry him, she survives as his slave and concubine, finally bearing him three sons--sons Pyrrhos vows to endow with kingdoms of their own.

    Surviving the birth of her sons, the jealous hatred shown her by Hermione, and conflict with other concubines under Pyrrhos's command, Andromakhe never gives up her goal of somehow re-establishing the Trojan civilization. Although the Trojans were defeated, many survived as slaves. Others are merely dispersed, waiting for an opportunity for freedom. Fanning Andromakhe's hope is Helenos, Hektor's brother and Andromakhe's first crush--although Helenos, like Andromakhe is currently a slave to Pyrrhos.

    Author Kristina O'Donnelly (see more reviews of novels by O'Donnelly) continues Andromakhe's story in this powerful second volume of the ANDROMAKHE cycle (See our review of Andromakhe Vol. I--Mysteries, Blessings and Tragedy). Defeated by the gods and fates, Andromakhe never gives up hope. Her pride serves as a double-edged sword, denying her a chance at love with a man who is fundamentally good (and vastly different from his killing-machine father), yet providing her the strength to stick with her resolve to somehow find a way to create a new world both for herself and for the other exiles of Troy.

    Like the best historical fantasies, the story of Andromakhe helps deepen our understanding of this history handed down to us by the Greek playwrights. Andromakhe holds to the worship of the Great Goddess--in a world being transformed by the patriarchal Olympian gods. O'Donnelly steps away from the male-dominated action of Homer's Iliad to show who women were affected, but also how one woman's strength and perseverence could make a difference even in a world filled with violence.

    In ANDROMAKHE, Vol. II, the gods and magic are strong--and often in conflict. As Andromakhe learns, it may not be possible to change your fate, but the path toward that fate can be determined by choice.

    Readers of ANDROMAKHE Vol. I will certainly want to add Vol. II to their read-now file.

    Four Stars

    Approximately 88,000 words.

    Reviewed 6/12/06

    To buy ANDROMAKHE Vol. II for only $2.99, click the Buy Now button.

    Supported formats: HTML, Adobe Acrobat PDF, Microsoft Reader, Palm Reader, and Aportis (for Palm) Reader.

    Read the first chapter for FREE

    ANDROMAKHE has been named 2006 Historical Novel of the year by POW!. Congratulations, Kristina.

    Here's what author Piers Anthony has to say: "It's a grim, hard-hitting story showing the subjugation of women that was and still is standard practice in much of the world." Thanks, Piers Anthony. (P.S. Check out some of our reviews of Piers Anthony's books here.)

    Want to save some money? Buy the complete cycle, consisting of the two novels--Volumes I and II--for only $5.99--a $2.00 savings. Check it out here.

    Rather buy the paper version? Click the 'buy from Amazon button':

    See more details and investigate Amazon Marketplace availability for ANDROMAKHE (Volumes I and II) from

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.

    Lady Literature--Kristina O'Donnelly

    For another view of the Andromakhe legend, see The Andromache by Euripides.