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What to expect

An exceptional combination of history and mythology – ‘an intriguing, luxuriously realised novel’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Subtly moving, playful…a novel that brought me to tears more than once. Lavinia is a delightful heroine’ GUARDIAN

‘Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken, but chose my man and my fate. The man was famous, the fate obscure; not a bad balance.’

Lavinia is the daughter of the King of Latium, a victorious warrior who loves peace; she is her father’s closest companion. Now of an age to wed, Lavinia’s mother favours her own kinsman, King Turnus of Rutulia, handsome, heroic, everything a young girl should want. Instead, Lavinia dreams of mighty Aeneas, a man she has heard of only from a ghost of a poet, who comes to her in the gods’ holy place and tells her of her future, and Aeneas’ past…

If she refuses to wed Turnus, Lavinia knows she will start a war – but her fate was set the moment the poet appeared to her in a dream and told her of the adventurer who fled fallen Troy, holding his son’s hand and carrying his father on his back…

Critics Review

  • Subtly moving, playful…a novel that brought me to tears more than once. Lavinia is a delightful heroine

  • The focus on the women’s side of the house…serves to give them rightful prominence within the fabric of a society where men are second in command only to fate…Le Guin [makes] mythology tangible, exciting and a surprising joy to read

  • A superbly researched, beautifully written, profound and moving novel

  • Compulsively readable…a winning combination of history and mythology featuring an unlikely heroine imaginatively plucked from literary obscurity

  • Elegant and eloquent

  • Beautiful and moving…Highly recommended


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