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Hetaera: Daughter of the Gods

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Doricha is twelve when her father is murdered by a roving band of Greeks. Betrayed by a jealous priestess and sold into slavery, headstrong Dori loses her most valuable possession-her freedom. She hopes that one day she can truly be free, but not even Aesop, her mentor, can protect her. The harsh world of classical Greece has little use for the minds of women, and she find ...more
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published February 20th 2013
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  225 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
All in all, not a bad story.

I picked this book up after stumbling across the author's blog while scouring the internet for information on Rhodopis. The "original Cinderella" of Greek-period Egypt has a moderately-sized role to play in a book I'm currently working on, and it's darned hard to find any resources on her life -- either the character of the legend or the real hetaera who went by the professional handle of Rhodopis. So I was very pleased to find this novelization of Rhodopis' life.

Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lost some sleep with Coffey's delightful, rich narrative. Consciousness left my head on the keyboard somewhere around 3 AM on Chapter 28. Dreams of the Nile carried me to morning when I completed this mesmorizing tale at first light. I dare you to try to put this down after reading Chapter One, but don't pick it up if you have to work in the morning!I want more. Encore!
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not know that the Cinderella story had such ancient origins when I started this book - but then again, most moralistic stories have been around since time began. I knew nothing of Rhodopis and her fable of becoming queen of Egypt so I came to this book with wide open eyes and deep interest in the history of this time period.

The novel was very much focused on its protagonist and she tells the tale from the future which can be done well but I felt in this book it led to far too many statemen
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, the biggest highlight of reading this novel would be that that the author did an amazing job describing the culture and atmosphere of Thrace, Greece, and Egypt. Clothing, tattoos, hairstyles, the market, the homes and may other factors are described in flowing detail. Also, the characters and setting are well researched and more than adequately transposed into fiction. I even felt the urge to do some research of my own to find out the dividing ...more
John Hendricks
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I first started Hetaera, I was immediately drawn into the exciting action of Dori's warrior, tribal family and further by the erotic description of her mother's "goddess" training. I became attracted to the character, and began to root for her as she learns to use her beauty, and more importantly, wit, to reach her own goddess status as she is thrust harshly into the male dominant society.

Being a former history teacher, I loved the intricately detailed setting descriptions and Dori's inter
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Actual Rating: 2.5

I'm a big fan of Greece and Egyptian stories. I love learning about the culture and ancient times in those fascinating and colorful countries. This is what attracted me about reading Hetaera: Daughter of the Gods the most. Although I heard it was the "original" Cinderella story; I wasn't too sure what that meant because as much as I love historical fiction, I don't know that much history.

Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook, reviewed
I love all things Greek, so I knew that this was a book I wanted to read straight away. This book is a little bit “Pretty Woman” and a little bit “Cinderella”, with a distinctly Grecian/Egyptian flare. I recognized the name, Hetaera, but that was about all and so was excited to read more. I was expecting a lot of mythology for some reason, I guess just by virtue of the topic, but it wasn’t a focal point. The use of temple worship and offerings to the gods were sprinkled throughout the story with ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that once you start you dont want to stop reading it. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and it wasn't til sometime early the next morning (around 1:30am??) when I was bleary eyed and realized I wasnt processing what I was reading anymore due to sheer exhaustion, that I folded the page and put the book down to get some much needed sleep. Picked it right back up the following morning and was done by noon. Historical fiction isnt necessarily my first choice of ...more
Just as it claims, the original Cinderella (minus the evil step sisters and pumpkin coach. A story of severe loss and gains. Although Doricha finds true love at last, this story tells much more about a woman's worth considering many perspectives and circumstances. Born a daughter of a tribal warrior she loses her family and place in the world. She lives many lives transcending many worlds. She experiences the disparities of wealth and status first hand,from daughter to wife, slave to homeless, p ...more
Monica Hills
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel. It is set in Ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. The author does a great job portraying this time period. Doricha witnesses the murder of her father and then her mother and unborn brother dies. She is forced into slavery and must learn how to survive. This novel had a Cinderella feel to it. I also really liked how Aesop was a big part of the story line. My one complaint is that there was no historical note at the end. I would love to know what was actually true. Overal ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love stories about strong-minded women and so I cheered Doricha as she fought for her freedom in ancient Greece and Egypt, particularly as women had so little going for them back then. Doricha uses her beauty, her wits, and her skill as a dancer to rise above slavery and become the First Wife of Pharaoh Amasis. Coffey tells the story using vivid descriptions of the settings and culture so the reader feels drawn into the time and place.
Patricia Reding
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I was provided a copy of this book through Goodreads’ READ IT AND REAP program in exchange for my fair and honest review. I thank the author for providing me with this opportunity.

In Hetaera, we follow Doricha from her early days as a child in Thrace, through her years of slavery, to her rise to fame as Rhodopis, then finally, to the very throne of Egypt. I was engaged in the story from the outset, as Doricha witnesses her father’s death during an invasion of her village by the Greeks. Doricha i
K.S. Marsden
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doricha is a young girl, destined to join the priestesses that honour Dionysus - the Bacchae. But her world is thrown into torment as her Thracian village is attacked by Greeks, the young girl watches her father killed, and kills a man to escape.
The story follows her life from then on, shifting from one place to another, never feeling like home.

Hetaera is a story that sweeps across the ancient world of Greece, Thrace, Egypt, and all the countries that surround them. It honours and respects each
Scott Haraburda
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


Author of a very entertaining book, J.A. Coffey quickly caught my attention and did not let up. Like many others, I had a difficult time putting this book down. HETAERA: Daughter of the Gods is a historical fiction based upon an ancient Greek story from several millennia ago. Well researched with plenty of historical details. Much in this book was based upon historical information about Rhodopis, a celebrated Greek courtesan
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hetaera by J.A. Coffey is a novel adapted from the story of Rhodopis, the first, and an ancient version of the Cinderalla story that was first recorded in the 1st century BCE by a Greek historian named Strabo. Doricha is a Greek slave girl in Egypt who suffers abuse by her fellow slaves. She is beautiful, but has big feet. It is her talent for dancing that catches the eye of a kindly elderly master. She falls in love with a young shoemaker who gifts her an exquisite, unique pair of red slippers ...more
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
It took me about 50 pages to get into it, but the book was pretty good. It was an enjoyable, easy read. It was hard for me to get over the antiquated language, which felt really stilted. For instance, no contractions and very archaic language. When I was reading about the main character in the beginning as a 12 year old girl, it was so hard to imagine those words coming from her brain, even though I recognized the narrator was somewhere in her future. However, I eventually got used to it and the ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book... this book really made me think. It was so well written that I felt like I was there. It sucked me in from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. I loved the progression through Dori's life, the ups and downs and how ultimately she came out on top. Her perseverance throughout all of the tragedies in her life make her one of my favorite heroines lately. I loved Aesop's presence in the story. The way he was weaved into the plot and the role he played in Dori's life was perfect and h ...more
Amy (DemonKittie)
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*I was given a free copy of this book for a fair and honest review*

This was a wonderful Historical Novel that was essentially a classic telling or version of Cinderella. It includes a slipper that only fits on one girl's feet and tales of wickedness and suffering. I really loved this book.

To be honest, in the beginning I wasn't sure what the heck was going on because I didn't read about the book, I just signed up for a copy and got it. I knew it was a historical novel but when Aesop showed up a
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
It's been so long since I last read the book but the story seems to have imprinted itself on my mind. The story line , for me, can be considered to be a long one but nonetheless each page was book turner. Each event of her life struck a beat to my heart making the plot as realistic as it could be.

I recommend reading this book if you're into mythologies as is has a wonderful mix of the Greek and Egyptian Gods. The setting of the story is very likely to be set with the same time of Odyssey so I a
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and the details given. I felt the character's emotions joy and pain. I thought the book however fell a little short when it came to the ending as it was very predictable and generic. With all the creativity in the beginning of the book, the author got lost at the end. But looking past this I enjoyed the book overall!
Please Pass the Books
I loved this book! If you read my other reviews, I am quite a picky reader. However, this book was such a great read that I have gone in search of different stories of its kind regarding the life of other Hetaera (there aren't many, and the ones I have found have been a bit dissappointing). Recommended.
Jody Wallace
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'd actually call this historical fiction with a romance subplot, but I don't read that subgenre often enough to make a shelf for it. Lots of detail, both in worldbuilding and character building. Reminds me just a little of Game of Thrones from the POV of one of the prostitutes. Very cinematic!
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Overall, an interesting story. It dragged a bit in the middle for me, but I pushed through and the story got good again.

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is an unusual coming of age tale weaving friendship, love, loss and the realization of a dream. A recommended read.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!!! it was brilliant and I could get into it right away. the author also describes the characters extremely well. I look forward to reading more by this author as they are very talented!!!
The story was entertaining enough, but sometimes I felt like it was too disjointed and didn't flow. Doricha's life just seemed like it was neatly split into chunks. Village girl then priestess - in - training then slave then courtesan.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ended so abruptly! This is the reason for the lack of full marks. The story had really gone as far as it could but if you have such an abrupt ending, I prefer a epilogue to help me transition out of the book world.
Alexandra K Bird
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pleasant surprise

Having recently encountered many disappointing books involving Egypt, this was a wonderful surprise. Well written, relatable characters, and a strong female lead who was quite comfortable being female. Ancient Cinderella story worked fabulously!
J.A. Coffey
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: historical-fic
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I loved writing it! I loved how Doricha/Rhodopis grew through the story to become a woman destined to serve as Queen of Egypt.
Ken Vincent
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Many twists and turns. Life as it must have been in another era. If you like historic novels you will want to read this one.
Ken Vincent
Darcee Kraus
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The original Cinderella, who is quite a bit more personable, as well as compassionate. Wonderfully written and memorable, I would definitely recommend for a quick read :)
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J.A. Coffey writes both sizzling contemporary romance and epic historical fiction with compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page.

A complete cupcake addict, when she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found hunkered over her laptop in a European coffeehouse, test baking desserts, or “feathering her nest” with spruced up flea market finds. A 2014 Indie Book Awards

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