For the “Clytemnestra” prompt in the Women in MythAThon readathon, I chose to read Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood. The book tells the story of Helen and Klytemnestra, sisters and princesses of Sparta. Before Helen is Helen of Troy, she is married to Menelaus. Klytemnestra is married to Agamemnon, who is Menelaus’s brother. The book takes place in Sparta, Mycenae and Troy. They were probably all beautiful places before all of the betrayal, murders and war.
Eventually, Helen is seduced by Paris and runs away with him to Troy. Menelaus is determined to get his wife back. He enlists Agememnon and others, including Achilles, to wage war against Troy. The Trojan War was supposed to have lasted for ten years. Running away with Paris lost some of its appeal after seeing the destruction that war brings. Plus, Paris was depicted as a coward in this retelling.
It was interesting to hear the story of the Trojan War from the point of view of Helen and Klytemnestra. We hardly ever hear how women feel about things in Greek Mythology. In most stories, we don’t know anything about Helen, except that she is the most beautiful woman to ever exist. A face that launched a thousand ships and all of that.
Achilles is an interesting character in everything that I’ve ever read. He is demigod that could almost win a war by himself. We don’t see him very much in this story but he still affects most of the characters due to his prowess on the battlefield. By that I mean, he kills a lot of people. He kills many more than Helen or Klytemnestra combined but they aren’t loved nearly as much as Achilles. Interesting
If you are a fan of mythology like me, then this book could be your new favorite retelling of mythology.
I don’t think Agamemnon would appreciate this book. He was a dirtbag so he would have to get over it.