Everyone has heard the story of Helen of Troy, right? You know, how Helen was so beautiful she was “the face that launched a thousand ships” as the rest of Greece went to war against Troy after she was kidnapped.
What if that popular version of Helen’s legend was wrong — very, very wrong? Who better, then, to set the historical record straight than the woman herself? That is a nutshell overview of The Curse of Troy by Luciana Cavallaro (@ClucianaLuciana), a short story I had the pleasure of reading when the author requested a review.
After reading some heavy-duty non-fiction and a couple mystery/thriller novels recently, The Curse of Troy was a very enjoyable change of pace for me. I read a lot of history but my focus has been on more recent times, so after finishing The Curse of Troy I did some quick research on the Helen legend and discovered how much I had forgotten of that era and how much scholarship has advanced since I attended college (Ed: soooooo many years ago).
I think highly of any story that generates interest in learning more about a subject and I’m definitely going to delve more into Ancient History in the future.
As The Curse of Troy is a short story, it would be a disservice to future readers to discuss too much of the plot, so instead I reached out to Luciana Cavallaro by email and invited her to answer a few questions:
Interview with Luciana Cavallaro
LC: I’ve always enjoyed Greek Mythology and Ancient History and about 15 years ago read The Iliad and fell in love with the story. I read everything about Heinrich Schleimann, the myth surrounding the war between the Greeks and the Trojans and watched documentaries about the legend.
2. Your story is very different from the popular legend of Helen, but not without basis in historical record. Which do you believe is closer to the truth?
LC: That is a great question. Women were a commodity in the Ancient World. When invading nations conquered warring states the women were part of the spoils. Perhaps it went something like this: the Trojans travelled to Greece, perhaps with good intentions like wanting to establish trade agreements, it didn’t go well and in retribution fought the city-state and stole their women. The Greeks, set out to Troy (Ilion) with a huge fleet , to exact revenge. But that is only one small part of the equation. I believe the ultimate goal was greed and power. Whoever controlled the Isthmus would gain a massive fortune from the huge trading port that was Ilion. It was after all, Priam’s treasure Agamemnon coveted and his position in that area.
3. What is it about Ancient History that you find most intriguing?
LC: I’m always sweetly surprised by what I read by either the ancient historians of the time, scripts by playwrights or discoveries made by archaeologists. I’m always learning something new. The ideas, concepts and inventions of the time and how they developed with limited resources and technology is extraordinary. They were much smarter than we are today.
LC: I am currently writing a series of short stories that will make up an anthology titled Accursed Women. I have a third story due out soon about Hera, the Queen of the Gods and writing a fourth about Pandora.
The novels listed on my blog form part of a trilogy and are also set in the Ancient World and based on the myth of Atlantis. The characters are premised on the heroes of the golden age such as Akhilles, Theseus, Herakles reflecting the many tragedies they endured plus given they were flawed in many ways.
In my notebook of ideas, I have many stories ready for me to explore and create. There is one I would like to sink my teeth into so to speak and that is to write a story about Atlantis being the cornerstone of all civilizations based on Ignatius Donnelly’s theory he wrote Atlantis: the Antediluvian World published in 1882.
To learn more about Ms. Cavallaro and her writing please visit her blog Eternal Atlantis. Her books are available at Smashwords and Amazon or Amazon UK. I can’t wait to read her Atlantis trilogy when it comes out.