Fortier (Juliet, 2010, etc.) presents the intertwining stories of a young English philologist, tutored by her grandmother in the ways of Amazon warriors, and an Amazon queen of pre–Trojan War days.
Diana Morgan, a professor at Oxford, has been haunted by memories of her grandmother, whom her parents thought mentally unbalanced. All Diana has left of Granny is the old lady’s notebook—filled with indecipherable scribbles in an archaic alphabet—and the bronze, jackal-headed bracelet that Diana somehow has never been able to remove from her wrist. Lately, Diana has been similarly unable to resist researching rumors of an Amazon treasure somewhere in Turkey, which has put her in contact with some shady characters. Soon, Diana is trekking from the Algerian desert (where she found samples of Granny’s script in the ruins of an Amazon temple) to Crete (where she’s mugged while snooping in the famous labyrinth) to the putative site of the city of Troy itself. Accompanied by her best friend, Rebecca, and international man of mystery Nick (known to be involved with al-Aqrab, a quasi-terrorist organization dedicated to recovering ancient artifacts stolen by colonialists), Diana finds herself torn between reconnecting with her Amazon heritage and falling in love with a man. Her ancient counterpart, Myrina (traces of whom Diana has found in various ruins and writings), lands in a similar predicament. After Greek raiders sack the temple of the Moon Goddess (the ruin investigated by Diana), Myrina follows her abducted sisters all the way to Crete, and then to Mycenae, where, aided by Paris, crown prince of Troy, she rescues the women from the clutches of King Agamemnon. After a brief sojourn in Ephesus, Myrina and Paris admit that their destiny is to rule Troy together. Aficionados of Greek mythology and Homeric lore will find much to admire here, although the modern-day sections are encumbered with too many characters and overly intricate plot scaffolding.
Readers patient enough to soldier through to the payoff will not be disappointed.