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Helen of Troy

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  9,117 ratings  ·  828 reviews
A lush, seductive novel of the legendary beauty whose face launched a thousand ships

Daughter of a god, wife of a king, prize of antiquitys bloodiest war, Helen of Troy has inspired artists for millennia. Now Margaret George, the highly acclaimed bestselling historical novelist, has turned her intelligent, perceptive eye to the myth that is Helen of Troy.

Margaret George

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Paperback, 755 pages
Published 2007 by Pan Publishing (first published July 26th 2006)
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Stacey Skirpan The characters were drawn beautifully and stayed true to the historic descriptions. My only criticism was that she described certain characters by…moreThe characters were drawn beautifully and stayed true to the historic descriptions. My only criticism was that she described certain characters by hair color. It kind of upset my original idea of how they appeared physically. I especially loved the role of Paris in Helen's life. It was very much a star-crossed whirlwind romance that would upset the masses.(less)

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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,117 ratings  ·  828 reviews


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La Tonya  Jordan
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who Loves Classics
Recommended to La Tonya by: Reading to Infinity
Shelves: good-read
This was an amazing book. It was so well written you can follow the story of Greek names, cities, statues, ritals, and Greek culture most people are not familiar with. The belief Greek people had in the immortal God's on high Olympus that of Zeus, Aphrodite, Athena, Persephone, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Hera, and others is almost magical.

Helen, the Queen of Sparta, left her home for love and desire to be with someone seven years younger than she, all because of Arphodite the goddess of love. Thi
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Arlene
As an avid reader, it's not very often that you come across a book that immediately finds a spot on the top shelf of your bookcase. Well, Helen of Troy has earned that right, without a doubt. This book is sheer perfection in so many ways a simple review cannot express.

The author did a beautiful job of telling the story of Helen of Sparta, later Helen of Troy from a perspective which seamlessly submerges you into the Trojan War. She weaved in all the right characters, events and emotions and wra
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Ana O
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mythology
Tatiana
May 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in Greek mythology
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: 2009, historical
I have been a fan of Greek mythology since my early childhood. However memories of it faded over last few years. "Helen of Troy" definitely revived my interest in the subject and in historical fiction in general.

There were many things that I loved about the book. The story of Helen was comprehensive and meticulously researched. I know for sure George stayed very close to the sources and the book was historically correct (well, as much as a book about mythical characters can be historically corr
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Judith Starkston
This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read, but didn’t get to until now, published in 2006. Here’s a somewhat meandering review, more a collection of my reactions/thoughts than a formal review. Margaret George writes historical fiction set in a number of periods from Cleopatra to Elizabeth I. I worried from a distance that someone who jumped around like that might be skimpy on the research and historical accuracy. Then I heard her speak at the Tucson Festival of Books, and I realized s ...more
Janice
Oct 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have previously very much enjoyed Margaret George's novels, most specifically her work on Henry VIII, Mary, Queen of Scots and Cleopatra. But as George continues to write about famous "historical" figures the last two she has chosen live more in myth rather than actual history (Mary Magdalene and now Helen of Troy).

I couldn't feel sorry for Helen, and found it sort of cheap that the "Gods" interfered with Helen's emotions in order to make her fall in love with Paris. Previously the character'
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Robert Case
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of myth, historical fiction and fans of Margaret George
Just another remake of the Trojan War? Oh no. Not this time. This version of the ancient saga is told straight from the lips, the voice, the brain, and the heart of its leading female protagonist, Helen Queen of Sparta, a/k/a the face that launched 1,000 ships, a/k/a Helen of Troy. The book is long. The narrative never gets tired.
We meet Helen as a young girl, a princess fated by the extraordinary circumstances of her birth to become the most beautiful mortal woman on earth. Teenage Helen marrie
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TL
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Iset
*I don't know too much about the myth of Troy, just some stuff so bear with me*

A wonderful novel of Helen and the Trojan War... everything was brought to life beautifully, I felt like I was walking the streets of Sparta and Troy. Miss George's writing was amazing, very rich and beautifully detailed. The pages fly by very quickly, even though this isn't a fast read.

Helen and Paris' falling in love... happened a bit quickly for my taste and I had trouble believing their love for most of the book
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Lisa
I love Greek mythology and think the fall of Troy is easily one of the most powerful myths around. Prior to reading this I would never have believed that anyone could tell it in such a way as to make it utterly boring, but sadly Margaret George has proved me wrong.

Telling the story of Helen of Troy, the face that started it all, it's clear that Ms George put in rather a lot of research. It's just a shame that, while remembering to add in details like what sort of cups people might have drunk fro
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Natasa
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margaret George brings to life the heroic and not so heroic deeds of the Trojan war. All the characters are there Odysseus, Hector, Achilles, Priam, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon and Helen, and Paris. The author brings to life the sights, sounds, and conflicts of the war and the pain and suffering of the men who fought in it. That said, I found this to be a credible, fascinating look into this era of history. Full review you can find on my blog: https://poetryofreading.blogspot.com/...
Claire
I'm terrible at writing out reviews - and actually posting them, but I just can't help myself with this one. This book is one of my absolute favorites, and so underappreciated.
Unlike many Helen of Troy books, George starts from the very beginning and goes all the way to the very end. And while this may seem like a long, tedious process for the reader, George’s writing is so flipping fantastic that I STILL want more.
George is also the first author that makes the whole “elopment” storyline readab
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Marissa Joyce
It was a good book, but I found Helen's character to be petulant and frankly, annoying. Perhaps this is my own pet peeve, but I found Helen's attempts to externalize the blame and repercussions of her own actions on the gods to be really tiresome- especially after 600 pages.
However, the characters were well developed, the splotseemed to stick to the historical data, and the storyline moved along at a quick pace. I enjoyed reading the novel, but I think I may have liked it more if Helen had been
...more
Rebecca Huston
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
One of the most boring, badly written, snooze-inducing novels that I have ever waded through. Here, Margaret George takes on the Iliad and reduces it into cheap trash. Helen is a sluttish, boring, one note, and no one else really rises up to the material, with the possible exception of Odysseus. Be smart, stick with the original, preferably Robert Fagle's recent translations. Not worth the time or money.

For the longer review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_H...
Heather
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lover of Greek mythology, my interests were piqued by the title alone. And as someone who has always thought of Paris as a petulant child and Helen a victim of kidnapping and rape, I was interested to read George's slant on the events that transpired between the Trojan Prince and the Spartan Queen. I was dazzled.

Helen's air headed tendencies aside, I found myself sympathizing with her more than once. She is most certainly a flawed character, but I found her humanity and tenacious spirit co
...more
Sincerae
Helen of Troy, whose beauty was so feared that her parents had her wear a veil as a child. Was her real father the god Zeus? This massive novel covers her childhood, the time she runs away with the teenaged Paris while she is a married woman in her twenties, the more than two decades she lives in Troy, the terrible invasion of Troy, and her middle aged years back with her husband Menelaus who finally forgives her.
Rita
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium."
Zulfiya
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a beautiful example of historical FICTION. I boldly capitalize the word ‘fiction’ because the original story of Troy and its long siege per se is a fictitious yarn, loosely based on events whose historicity has yet to be fully proven. The famous narrative ‘Iliad’ has become the intrinsic part of human cultural heritage and in its turn has given birth to a number of artistic interpretations. Most of the spin-offs (novels, paintings, poems, movies, plays) mainly tell the story of warr ...more
Iset
In Helen of Troy, George loses none of her deft story-telling touch. Reading this book, or indeed any book by George, one can feel almost as something palpable that this story is truly woven – a rich tale of many complex strands woven expertly together by George’s pen. What a joy! There’s something gloriously gluttonous about curling up with a book like that and a mug of hot chocolate of a cold winter’s evening and losing yourself for hours. Mind you, I read Helen of Troy whilst ensconced in the ...more
Sara
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Homer gaves us the story of the end of the Trojan War and the great tale of what happened to the Odyssey when it lost its way. There are numerous tales of the greatest warriors that fought the war and endless stories of the watching gods. Margaret George tells a different story. It is the story of Helen and how she went from being Helen, Queen of Sparta to Helen of Troy. And the story is told through her eyes. From her childhood when she strained against her restraints and resented the fact that ...more
Colleen Oakes
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last year, a friend recommended the book Gone with the Wind. I balked at the idea, at the mere size of it. But I read it, because I trust her book choices with every fiber of my being. And I loved it. Never had I read a single book that was as epic, as sweeping, as Gone with the Wind. Until now. My blogger friend Ashley gave it a phenomenal review, and it turns out that Helen of Troy had been sitting in my bookcase all this time. I had bought it at a used bookstore about two years ago. WEIRD! Ba ...more
Mercedes Rochelle
Even though I read my classics back in my college days, they stuck in my mind for forty years. I always wondered how the Trojans treated Helen, who they knew was the source of all their troubles. Happily, Margaret George gives us a sympathetic and thoroughly believable account from Helen’s point of view. As daughter to Leda and Zeus (the swan), she had an otherworldly glow that immediately singled her out as someone special, which goes a long way toward explaining why she was so pivotal in the w ...more
scissorstoariadne
Greek mythology, or mythology, in general, is and will always be one of my great loves. (I say this at the risk of sounding completely demented) The story of Helen and the fall of Troy was never my most favourite myth but recently, I started to gravitate towards it and am very fascinated with many of the secondary characters involved. I was pleased to read that George had included them with sufficient backstory: Cassandra, Clytemnestra, Aphrodite, Athena, Electra, and Orestes.

What was really en
...more
Jocelyn
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
Okay, Margaret George is an extremely "wordy" author. She likes adjectives and she likes to use them a lot. I am a simple woman, if the day is hot then I don't want to hear about how the sweat drops slide down your face.
Also, I think she got bored in the last 100 pages because Helen just kind of summarizes things and then the book is over.
Also, I hate Helen of Troy. If I was to write a fiction book about a fiction woman I would make Helen of Troy a power house. I don't CARE that Homer didn't wri
...more
Jeanette
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book as a gift and it was some time before I started to read it. The thought of reading over 600 pages initially put me off. What a page turner this turned out to be and soon found myself at the end of a great read.
Patrick
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Hubbard
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story. So different than the Helen of Troy I knew. I cried so many times. I liked how the characters were portrayed And she grew old just like the rest of us.
I would read this book again
Sanaz Adel
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
آه خیلی قشنگه ! هلن ملکه ی اسپارت عاشق پاریس زیباروی میشه و با هم فرار میکنن و این هم بهانه ای میشه برای اغاز جنگ ...
عشقی که در اخر هم پایدار نمیمونه 😭♥
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Sara Giacalone
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While perhaps not as engrossing as Henry VIII or Cleopatra, I thought Margaret George's Helen of Troy was, indeed, magical.
Karen
Although this latest historical fiction novel by Margaret George is not quite up to her first two efforts, “The Autobiography of Henry VIII” and “The Memoirs of Cleopatra,” she still does a very good job of making the mythical figure of Helen of Troy into a real, flesh-and-blood woman of her time that we can identify with.

Unlike other fictional re-tellings of Helen’s story which portray her as selfish and conceited or a vapid non-entity, George does her best to make Helen a sympathetic figure, w
...more
Lady
I hoped that this would be an intriguing story that adds new depth to the characters and machinations of the Trojan War; that it would take what we already knew and make it interesting, give it depth and conflict and emotion so that it was still interesting. But I didn't feel that Margaret George did that at all.

Since Helen of Troy is written from the first person point of view of Helen, she needed to be a compelling woman of intelligence and strength and force of will caught in the tides of lo
...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 14, 2015 11:20AM  
Sympathy? 7 76 Jun 11, 2014 11:01AM  
  • The Memoirs of Helen of Troy
  • Daughter of Troy: A Magnificent Saga of Courage, Betrayal, Devotion, and Destiny
  • Penelope's Daughter
  • Homer's Daughter
  • The Songs of the Kings
  • Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore
  • The Return from Troy
  • Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)
  • The Song of Troy
  • The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3)
  • Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4)
  • Ithaka
  • In Search of the Trojan War
  • Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #1)
  • Daughters of Rome (The Empress of Rome, #2)
  • Eve
  • When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra
  • Pilate's Wife
1,914 followers
Margaret George is a rolling stone who has lived in many places, beginning her traveling at the age of four when her father joined the U.S. diplomatic service and was posted to a consulate in Taiwan. The family traveled on a freighter named after Ulysses' son Telemachus that took thirty days to reach Taiwan, where they spent two years. Following that they lived in Tel Aviv (right after the 1948 wa ...more
“When he comes into a room, you give a little gasp, deep inside, far inside,' someone once said when trying to describe what it meant to love.” 42 likes
“Some things can be recovered. Some things can be restored. But some lost things, we seek forever.” 9 likes
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