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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.
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.
What were your TOP TEN inspirational questions about this book and the characters as you were writing it?
Mythology fascinates me because within it we can glimpse a truth about what it means to be human. So, a driving motivation was to think about, if these characters were really human, what would they be thinking, doing, saying, or feeling? Questions arose as I wrote that inspired me to research more, consider them more, and figure out how to show them in a layered way… complicated, flawed, redeemable, and sometimes irredeemable.
Did Achilles really love Briseis?
— I wondered how a warrior as keen on womanizing and killing really developed/if he could develop the capacity to love. He took her for a war prize, we know, but how then could it become more? And how, if he loved her, could he let her be taken away?
Did Briseis really love Achilles?
— How would a war prize really fall in love with her captor? Could she? If she did, how would it have happened? What would have made it impossible to do?
Was Helen actually kidnapped, or was it something else entirely?
— If Aphrodite was involved, it had to be complicated. Nothing about love and goddesses is ever going to be simple, or go smoothly.
How did women pull power to themselves in the Bronze Age?
–Even though the Bronze Age is heavily patriarchic, we still have these stories about women like Clytemnestra, Helen, Andromache, and Penelope. How did they do it? What motivated them?
Could Hecuba actually forgive Priam for “killing” their son, Paris?”
–I wondered if a mother could ever forgive her husband for killing their child, prophesy or not.
Can I balance breasts as functional and sexual (and that one time) and as both?
–this came to me because of an iconic scene in the Iliad where Hecuba whips out her breast in front of the court, begging Hektor to not go down and fight Achilles. I thought wait a minute. There’s no admonishment by anyone for her to put her breast away, so what does that mean? Then it occurred to me that her breast was a powerful symbol of her role as Hektor’s mother. I included several breastfeeding scenes, and mixed it up a bit because that is real life. We breastfeed and we enjoy our breasts during sex.
7. How do I show the gods as powerful, controlling beings, yet also fallible and flawed as humans?
Because, they really seem to be jerks to me.
Can I use curse words?
I’m a big fan of Spartacus and Game of Thrones. I just couldn’t imagine warriors not using foul language.
Why is Clytemnestra so misunderstood?
–I think given what Clytemnestra endured, she did what any parent might think about. Or at least understand. It makes her a dark-heroine, because her motivation is somewhat pure, although over time, perhaps, more flawed.
How did Penelope keep Ithaka intact for 20 years?
–everyone knows the suitors story…that after years of waiting for the Trojan War to conclude a bunch of men camped out at Odysseus’ hall. But, not only did she keep them at bay for a few years, she also maintained the kingdom all that time. How did she do that without a king?