Sara Douglass,
The Troy Game#1: Hades' Daughter
(Tor, 2003)

Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass is a mythic adventure, filled with battle and intrigue. For centuries, the Troy Game has bound the world together, preserving safety for all. Then Princess Ariadne, betrayed by her lover Theseus, shatters the game, leaving the world a tortured ruin.

Generations later, Cornelia is a spoiled, childish princess. She has strange dreams of goddesses, women aware of her power who wish to shape her for their own ends. Beside her father Cornelia rules Mesopotamia, dominating the slaves carried away from the Trojan War. Brutus, the Trojan kingman who murdered his own father to take power, sails there to rescue his people. He conquers the city, taking Cornelia to wife and destroying every Greek there. Lured by visions of a woman he thinks is the goddess Artemis, he sails for the future land of Britain, there to resurrect the Troy Game in one final location.

The woman is not Artemis, but Ariadne's descendant, Genvissa. For more than a generation, this priestess of the land of Albion (Britain) has been murdering the two gods, Og and Mag. She only needs Brutus as her consort to resurrect the Troy game and take power over her country. The battle between these three people will not end in the time of the Trojans. Instead, they will return in 1940 to conclude the epic struggle to create or destroy the game forever. Their fates are bound together with the Minotaur of the Labyrinth, until together they can settle conflicts of the past life and restore or destroy the game.

The story shifts prospective, sometimes following each of the characters or all of them together. Yet it always returns to Cornelia, with her contrasting first-person perspective. Cornelia is truly the heroine of the story, as she changes from willful child to responsible woman, through love and fear and anguish. She loves Brutus despite his contempt for her, and fights through the book to win him. From the moment Cornelia has known him, Brutus has awaited Genvissa, the queen destined to balance his king, or so he thinks.

Douglass is a bestselling Australian author who constructs incredibly detailed worlds, blending history and fantasy in perfect proportions to create a compelling story. Her recent Wayfarer Redemption series is the most successful fantasy series in Australian history. Each character is expertly crafted, filled with the details of real life.

Can Cornelia stop Brutus from joining Genvissa and ruling the world beside her? Unfortunately, the answer must wait for the next two volumes in the trilogy. Hades' Daughter is a marvelous adventure, contrasting romance and danger against the ancient worlds of Greece and Britain as all of the characters struggle to master the Troy Game.

- Rambles
written by Valerie Frankel
published 19 April 2003

Buy it from