To some, the eternal themes of love and war are best illustrated in the epic tale of the Trojan War. Hand's romance is set against the turbulent backdrop of the famous conflict, which Homer, Shakespeare and numerous Hollywood directors have chronicled. Hand has taken a new twist by writing of the valiant warrior women, the Amazons, whose home on the Black Sea became part of the battleground.

The war has been raging eight years when Achilles, the powerful Greek warrior, plans to conquer the Amazon kingdom. Achilles killed Penthesilia, mother of Pentha, Queen of the Warrior Women, and the flame-haired Pentha sees her chance for revenge. She will lead an army to Troy, if she must, to see Achilles dead.

However, her beloved, Damonides, gave up his sword years ago and does not want Pentha marching into the fray. He desires peace, with Pentha by his side. But the heart of a soldier still beats inside him, and he cannot simply wait while the woman he loves risks her life for her land and people. Hand offers a different take on the Peloponnesian Wars with her engaging heroine. Blending myth and historical details, she presents both an exciting war story and a romance that will certainly intrigue those who desire ancient history with a more modern view. (May, 340 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin