Song of Sacrifice
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical
The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.
Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…
…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.
As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.
Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.
In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.
Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…
Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.
From Chapter 21
Queen Leda of Sparta and Clytemnestra
CLYTEMNESTRA SAT QUIETLY as her maid arranged her hair, her heart thudding heavily in her chest. Knowing that her father had arranged this tragedy only deepened the wound. She sighed, resigned to her fate, but unwilling to accept it. She would find some way to survive this marriage. Even as her maid fussed over her, she planned her escape. She would run for anywhere else and when an opportunity presented itself she would travel as far away as she could. There was nothing to keep her here anymore.
The door opened followed quickly by her mother in a flowing red gown and a sheer golden himation wrapped around her shoulders. “My darling.” Smiling, she leaned to kiss Clytemnestra on the cheek. “You’re a most stunning bride.”
“I don’t care how I look for that murderer,” Clytemnestra seethed.
“You’ll drop such treasonous talk, immediately. You may be the future queen of Mycenae, but you’re yet young. You’re not above being slapped for your impudence by your mother.” Leda turned, speaking sharply to the chamber maid, “Leave us.” The queen waited until the room was empty before she softened. She stretched both hands out to Clytemnestra in apology. “My sweet child. My poor child. Do you think I wish you to marry this bastard after what he has done to you? Your family?”
“You confuse me, Mother.”
“Do you know that maid?” Leda asked.
Clytemnestra thought for a moment, realizing she’d never seen her before that morning. “No.”
“Do you think Agamemnon will not have you watched? Not wait for a sign you are disloyal? Do you think he would not turn his rage against you once he has achieved his purpose?”
“What is his purpose, Mother?”
“To make Mycenae the richest kingdom of the Three Seas.”
“You would have me continue as if he’s done nothing? Even Thyestes received greater mercy than I am expected to endure. Agamemnon killed my husband. My son. Your grandson. Does this mean nothing to you?”
Leda took her daughter roughly by the shoulders, shaking her words into the young woman between clenched teeth. “You stupid girl! Have you not learned already? Do you think men the only creatures who go to war? The only ones who gird themselves in armor? You think there’s more bravery in hacking a man in two than the plight of women, who pass by the horror, slipping on the blood and shit of strangers to find their men? Bring them home. Stitch their gaping holes, praying to the gods for their healing all the while knowing death drags them to the Underworld? Every step you take, every word you utter is a strategy in a war for control of your world. Agamemnon has won the first battle.” Tears slid down her daughter’s cheek, and Leda gentled her tone. “Gird yourself, my darling, with your words, your plans. Don’t let him win the war.”
The princess wiped the tears from her eyes and stiffened her jaw. “I will rule my world.”
“Now, you sound the true Spartan princess.”
Clytemnestra stood, smoothing her gown. Leda admired her daughter. “So young, my darling. Yet, none more beautiful … save the goddesses of Olympia.” A brief flutter in her womb startled her.
“What’s wrong, Mother?”
Leda placed a hand over her lower belly. “Nothing. I’ll be fine.” Her womb was already budding with new life. Not yet, not yet … She silently cursed Zeus. A knock sounded on the door. Leda stepped to open it, pushing all other concerns aside. Neola stood in the doorway.
“Let her in, Mother.” Clytemnestra smiled at the elderly woman she’d met days ago. “She is trustworthy.”
Neola nodded to her mistress and the queen. “My lady, it’s time. They await you in the great hall.”
“Tell my Lord Agamemnon that I am on my way.”
Neola nodded, bowed, and left the chamber.
“Remember my words,” Leda warned.
“I will not soon forget any of this, Mother.”
In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.
The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.
She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats.
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