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For The Most Beautiful

(Golden Apple Trilogy #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  646 ratings  ·  145 reviews

The must-read historical novel for anyone caught up in the epic new BBC/Netflix series 'Troy: Fall of a City' . . .

Three thousand years ago a war took place that gave birth to legends - to Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks, and Hector, prince of Troy. It was a war that shook the very foundations of the world. But what if there was more to this epic conflict? What if

Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by Transworld Digital
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3.73  · 
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 ·  646 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

I liked this book very much! It felt like reading something Alexandru Mitru would write. He was a Romanian author who wrote stories about the Greek gods and heroes.

For The Most Beautiful is a story about the Trojan War. As most of you know, the war happened because Paris took Helen from her husband, the Spartan king Menelaus. But it was all a ruse of the gods, as they were bored in their immorality.


Enter the three goddesses (Hera, Athena and Aphrodite). They present Paris with a golden apple, in
Madeline Miller has ruined this book for me. This pales in comparison to the Trojan War retelling that is The Song of Achilles. Maybe it's not a bad book... But I hated it. I wanted to slap Briseis so much. I just... Krisayis as she's known in this book (Chryseis to the rest of us) wasn't much better. Ugh no. It's like a cheesy YA Greek Myth retelling and nope. Plus the ending was terrible. I mean we all know how the story of the Trojan War ends but this ended with such an underwhelming whimper. ...more
Kate Quinn
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fresh and witty re-interpretation of the Trojan War. Hauser builds a captivating world populated by determined slave girls, brave warriors, doomed seers, and above all the meddling gods above whose constant bickering commentary provides endless entertainment. Bold, funny, original.
“Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.”


Emily Hauser, an English author, has penned a stirring debut historical fiction, For The Most Beautiful where the author has weaved the infamous Greek mythological tale of Trojan War through the voice of two female characters, who lose a great deal and fight some complex battles, to save their city of Troy. Also watched from the mountains are the gods
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I'm not sure what market the publisher is aiming for with this book, but I think it should be YA, or maybe NA. I don't mean this in any kind of pejorative way. It is a beautiful, dramatic, romantic coming of age story, focused on young women as they enter the world of love, marriage, responsibility, adulthood. The blending of myth and history creates the same feeling as a fairy tale. The language reflects this, it is superlative and magical.

For me, it didn't quite meet expectations, but this may
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I have mixed feelings about Emily Hauser’s For the Most Beautiful. Parts of it worked beautifully, but others fell flat in my eyes. I enjoyed the time I spent with it and can honestly say that I’d recommend it alongside A Song of War and Helen of Sparta, but there were weak points in the narrative and I wasn’t thoroughly sold on the final product.

Hauser approaches the classic story from the joint perspectives of Krisayis and
Judith Starkston
Hauser brings to life the women of the Trojan War in a vivid, fast-moving story. While tradition recorded only the deeds of men in this most famous of wars, Hauser’s legendary women show us heroic feats of courage, passionate love, deep wells of grief, acts of self-sacrifice and a tenacious insistence on hope. Her chapters populated by the gods of Olympus are pitch perfect: their self-absorbed, shallow toying with human life acts as a satiric counterpoint that enriches the emotional impact of th ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow ! Just wow!
Absolutely thrilled to of come across this book .

I need to read more by this author . Loved the time period and felt the character per chapter in this novel worked well- as normally I am not a fan of this technique , it however allowed each character and strand of the story to develop perfectly !

Must read
Keith Currie
What could go wrong? A story three thousand years old that attracts new fans in each generation – the tale of the Trojan War. A new spin on that story, focussing on two important but understated characters in the Iliad, Achilles’ ‘prize’, the girl Briseis, and Chryseis, the ‘prize’ of Agammenon.

I wanted to like this novel. I have read, studied and taught the Iliad and Greek myth for something like 40 years. I have enjoyed many great works of fiction inspired by Homer’s works. I think of Barry Un
An enchanting read, beautifully written.


I am a sucker for a pretty book cover.

For the Most Beautiful is just not that good. I noticed what other reviews have said – that it has a very YA feel – early on, but initially I was feeling generous and put it down to the fact that our two protagonists, Briseis and Krisayis, are teenagers and the first few chapters are supposed to show us their petty concerns before war hits. But it’s not just that.

The writing is serviceable. I would say it’s a shade above what I usually find in YA novels. It
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fabulous novel reworking the Trojan war, but this time from the view of two of the women who were vital to how it fell out, but mostly ignored after the action starts. I refer to Briseis, Achilles prize of war who was stolen by Agamemnon, and Krisayis beloved of Troilus and the daughter of Apollo's High Priest in Troy.

This is a magnificient retelling, keeping the mythic elements of Homer intact. The gods have several scenes to themselves and they are hilarious. Athena referring to Aphrodite's
Crystal King
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For The Most Beautiful is a wonderful novel about the women of the Trojan War. The novel is clearly meticulously researched and Hauser's background as a classicist shines through each character and place, on every page. The familiar myths are all there; a quarrel of the goddesses resulting in a choice marked by a golden apple, the stories of Agamemnon and Hector, of Helen of Troy and Paris, Achilles and his tender heel. The myths are woven into the larger tale, told from the perspectives of the ...more
Emily Hauser has taken a fresh new look at Homer’s epic Greek epic Iliad and the siege of Troy, but with a here is a fresh twist on the Greek myth.
The story is based around the Women of Troy namely Krisayis who is the daughter of the Trojan’s high priest and Briseis who is a Princess of the City of Pedasus close to Troy.
I recall reading Homer’s Iliad nearly 38 years ago and thanks to this I got interested in the classics. So anyone who has read Iliad knows the story and how the fate of Troy wa
John Fish
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily Hauser has taken a fresh new look at Homer’s epic Greek epic Iliad and the siege of Troy, but with a here is a fresh twist on the Greek myth.
The story is based around the Women of Troy namely Krisayis who is the daughter of the Trojan’s high priest and Briseis who is a Princess of the City of Pedasus close to Troy.
I recall reading Homer’s Iliad nearly 38 years ago and thanks to this I got interested in the classics. So anyone who has read Iliad knows the story and how the fate of Troy wa
Jo-anne Atkinson
The Gods sit atop the great mountain and direct the fates of mortals on Earth below. They have their favourites and their rivalry is a game of entertainment. Meanwhile on Earth the mortals have to suffer the capricious choices of their Gods as played out with their lives. As his reward for favouring Aphrodite above other goddesses Paris has stolen the most beautiful woman in Greece as his bride, unfortunately Helen was married and now her husband and his allies are coming to Troy seeking revenge ...more
Madame Mona Lisa
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the library while waiting for other books to come in. We all know the story of Troy and Helen whose face launched a thousand ships to start the Trojan War. What makes this book different is that it is told from the perspective of the women of Troy. This book would have been perfect if not for the chapter narratives told from the gods perspectives. It was ridiculous and made the story seem silly and trite. Otherwise this book is really excellent.
The Trojan War as told from the perspective of some of the women involved. I loved the different angle and that this was not all about heroic men and their feats of derring do. Some of the prose was a bit purple at times but overall I loved this and whizzed through it in no time at all.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-list

One of the best books I have read in 2017, so far.
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“For the most beautiful”. These are the words inscribed on a golden apple presented by Paris, Prince of Troy, to the goddess Aphrodite whom he has chosen over her rivals, Hera and Athena. In return, the goddess rewards Paris with Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful woman in the world – but unfortunately, Helen is already married. Not surprisingly, her husband, Menelaus, is enraged by the theft of his wife and sends the mighty armies of Greece, led by his brother King Agamemnon, to the shores of ...more
Katy Noyes
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ancient Greek legends for a Young Adult audience. Sex (nothing graphic), violence, war, love, and the Immortals in scenes reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen films.

Loved this. Told by two Trojan women, it's the untold side of the legend of the Trojan Wars. From the moment the golden apple is given to one goddess, war is inevitable between the mortals that the Gods use as playthings to amuse themselves while passing eternity.

Caught up in the battles are a Trojan princess and a daughter of a priest. T
Mar 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in2016
This was the most disappointing book I've read in a long time, and it's entirely because I had such high hopes...
Karina Read

Addicitve. Heartbreaking. Immersive. Gods. feeling all the emotions after that ending.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it!
I've read enough versions of the Trojan War that this didn't wow me, but it was perfectly fine. I liked the emphasis on lesser-known female characters and I was glad that the events that are often done to death were given shorter shrift here (no need to dwell on what most readers already know).
Mar 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spec-fic
c2016: FWFTB: Troy, war, gods, Achilles, fight, sacrifice. Once again, the GR choice of editions is at odds with the book I have in my hands. This book is the hardcover version with the image that GRs has catalogued as the Kindle edition. **sigh**. You know how there are some happenings in history that you don't really want to think about? Well, for me, this book zeroed in on one of my 'ostrich' thoughts and that is with the age of the women in the book when it all first kicks off. Its 1250 BC a ...more
J. Else
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love about this book is how it illustrates that historical women were able to accomplish great things despite constraints of time and place. Despite being slaves, two women helped the city of Troy in significant ways. They defied the odds, dealt with their loss at the hands of the Greek invaders, and changed their fate despite when and where they lived. This is the type of historical fiction I love.

Hauser does a beautiful job between her three unique narrations. There are two women who vo
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults/teenagers
This book explores the events of the Trojan War from a few new perspectives: Briseis, widowed princess of Lyrnessus, Krisayis, daughter of the High Priest of Troy, and the gods involved in the process. Briseis and Krisayis, both captives of the Greek army, influence the outcomes of the Trojan War in different ways, leading to the events that we already know about the War as well as fictionalized new outcomes., but with the overarching sense that nothing any mortal can do can change the decisions ...more
Robert Bass
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first part of a trilogy, and based on the Trojan War viewed from a female perspective, this book is a rapid and enjoyable read. Classicists will spot some poetic licence and breaking with convention, but the author explains her rationale in a note at the end; it is important therefore that cognoscenti approach H’s text with an open mind. The story focuses on the emotions of Briseis and Chryseis/Krisayis, and is punctuated by Olympian/Idaean interludes depicting the gods’ in-fighting and cava ...more
J Taylor
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fact that I read this book so quickly shows how engaging it was. Familiar with the story of Achilles in the Iliad, I enjoyed the new 'take' on the subject matter - the tale told by the women who are incidental in Homer. Just as Alice Oswald focuses in 'Memorial' on the dead known only from their biographies rather than on the famous heroes, Hauser chooses to re-imagine the Trojan War from the points of view of Krisayis and Briseis and to tackle the story from the Trojan rather than the Greek ...more
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Play Book Tag: For the Most Beautiful - 3 stars, by Emily Hauser 5 16 Jun 14, 2019 06:36AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Dec 07, 2015 05:44AM  

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Born in Brighton and brought up in Suffolk, Emily Hauser studied Classics at Cambridge, where she was taught by Mary Beard, and completed a PhD at Yale University. She is now a Junior Fellow at Harvard University. For the Most Beautiful — the first book in the Golden Apple trilogy — was her debut novel and retells the story of the siege of Troy. Her second, For the Winner, is a reimagining of the ...more

Other books in the series

Golden Apple Trilogy (3 books)
  • For The Winner (Golden Apple Trilogy #2)
  • For The Immortal (Golden Apple Trilogy #3)
“Choose,' she says, reaching out towards him. 'Choose to which of us the apple most belongs...” 3 likes
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