Rise of Princes
(Homeric Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical
In the Song of Princes, the western Greek world is set afire by the brazen escape of Helen of Sparta with Paris, the Forgotten Prince of Troy. As their ship plows east across the Aegean, the Great War trails close behind them. Not even the gods could silence the thundering shields and singing arrows following the lovers back to Troy.
In Rise of Princes, Agamemnon and his horde lay siege to Trojan allies for nearly nine years, but it is Achilles, the Golden Warrior, who brutally ravages the Troad lands becoming the Sacker of Cities. His fierce onslaught prompts the gods to intervene on behalf of the Trojans and their allies. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty and patroness of Troy, sends the Princess Briseis to calm the bloody fury of Achilles.
Hektor, the Golden Prince, leads the Trojan army against the western invaders, keeping Troy safe behind the Great Wall. As Defender of the Citadel, he grants sanctuary to thousands of refugees seeking safety from the death and destruction sweeping the land. Behind the solidarity of the royal family, tensions over the continued presence of Helen of Sparta threaten to topple the empire. When the fate of Troy appears most grim, a ray of hope is offered by a new prophesy. Despite his private losses, Hektor vows to remain the strength his people need.
Across the Aegean, the Greek kingdoms struggle with disturbing news from Troy. Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae, reeling from Agamemnon’s ruthless betrayal, loses faith in the gods and plots her revenge. Queen Penelope of Ithaka, young and uncertain, prays to Athena for her husband’s swift return. And Tyndareus, the former king of Sparta, works to usurp Menelaus’ throne.
Trojans and Greeks face heartbreak as the war, sparked by the vanity and greed of men, continues with no end in sight.
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The columns of Agamemnon’s grand hall towered above the Spartan entourage. Frescos, painted with yellows, blues, and reds depicted birds, dolphins, and fish, brightening each long panel lining the walls of the palace. In the center of the hall, a ring of fire burned orange and red, warming the chill from the air. At the far end of the great room, a pair of lions matching the city gate’s relief was carved into the stone wall. Beneath the giant lions, a tall chair, richly carved and adorned with gold, stood in isolated splendor upon a raised dais. Next to the ornate seat was a smaller one of similar design.
Leda signaled for a bench. The long journey from Sparta to Mycenae had tired her body … that, and she was unaccustomed to waiting. Servants scurried to set a couch behind her. She sat cooling herself with a richly painted Egyptian papyrus fan. That she was being received so formally only further irritated her. The air grew thick with her impatience and annoyance.
My daughter had ample notice of my arrival. As Leda questioned her daughter’s lack of hospitality, the far door opened and the Queen of Mycenae entered, followed by an entire staff of women and men in attendance. Leda watched as her daughter, back tall and head held high, bypassed the smaller chair meant for a queen, taking her place on the king’s throne. She has learned, then, to make her world. Leda smiled to herself. That was good to know, because the news she had to share would require the iron will of a king, not the tender heart of a queen.
“You may approach, Queen Mother of Sparta,” a herald announced into the cavernous room.
Leda stood. She approached her daughter, bowing her head slightly in deference and greeting. “It is good to see you are well, my daughter.”
“You are blind then, Mother, as well as cold.”
Leda flinched as each barbed word pricked her heart. “I meant not to―”
“What you meant matters little to me now. You abandoned me, not once, but twice to my fate. Leaving me to grieve alone, offering no mother’s comfort. Why have you come?”
“To inform you of Tyndareus’ plans for Sparta.”
“Why should I care what happens to Sparta? Your whore daughter stole the men of Greece and beyond to a war that called for the sacrifice of my innocent daughter.”
“The power of Sparta and Mycenae are yet entwined, or have you learned nothing sitting on that chair?”
Clytemnestra bristled. “I have learned to build my world, as you instructed years ago. I rule this kingdom as my own.”
“But you do not rule over the men entitled to it. And you, my darling child, are not meant to sit there forever.”
“What is your news then? Tell it and take your leave of me.”
Leda stepped closer, her eyes softening, “I beg you, my daughter, hear me in private. What I have to share is not for the court to know. At least, not yet.”
The queen considered her mother. True, she has come all this way uninvited. She stood from her seat, descending the steps of the dais, and met her mother face-to-face. “As you wish. You may speak openly in my private quarters. Neola will attend us.”
Janell always had her nose in a book, reading by flashlight when it was “lights out” time. Her love of reading turned to a curiosity about writing. She now writes in all the spare moments she can squeeze out of a day. She also writes fiction and fantasy with some romantic spice for good measure. Janell adores Mythology and Fantasy. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles. Her guiding motto: “I tell stories, not genres.”
She currently lives in CA.
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