I really liked this book. Cooney is one of my favorite authors.
Anaxandra is a fascinating character whose life is linked to Helen of Troy. The author makes Helen as close to a witch as one can be and still be human or should I say half human and half god. Anyway Helen IS wicked and senses that there is something about this young princess that does not ring true. And, she is right as Anaxandra is posing as a king's daughter when the king and his settlement are destroyed. Only she survives and mistaken for the king's daughter she chooses not to set the record straight knowing that to do so would only put her into the ranks of slavery.
Of course, Anaxandra is fictional but so many of the characters existed that she makes a very good character to tell the story. Paris is handsome and full of himself believing that he is the best warrior and entices all women. When Helen leaves her compassionate king for Paris she takes the treasure and, more important, the king's youngest son, with her. Anaxandra works hard to protect the young prince from Paris and the citizens of Troy who would destroy this child because of who he is.
I liked the story very much and totally enjoyed the author's comments in the afterward. She does an awesome job of explaining her story, what she did and why she did it. Once again this section of a novel added so much to the tale itself. Good, good read.
Anaxandra is the favorite child; at age six her parents ler her be kidnapped, brought to King Nicadar's island as a companion for his crippled daughter, Princess CAllisto. When raiders come to destroy the island, she pretends to be Calliso to survive. TAken to Sparta, she clashes with the beautiful Queen Helen and becomes a slave. But will her downfall save Sparta from losing the Trojan battle?