Sparrows in the Wind by Gail Carson Levine is a middle grade/YA fantasy retelling of Troy around the time of the Trojan War. The ebook version is 352 pages. I listened to a voicegalley, which clocked in at seven and a half hours and is narrated by a synthetic voice. The book is broken up into two parts, each focusing on a different princess.
Cassandra is a princess of Troy, initially pleased when the god she follows–Apollo–appears to her and asks to love her in return for the gift of prophecy. Once she realized exactly what he’s asking for, she recoils and Apollo transforms his gift into a curse: no one will ever believe her foresight. Many years later, Cassandra meets Rin–an Amazon warrior princess–and the two pair up to battle against their fates throughout the Trojan War.
Overall, this was a cute alternative “history” of Cassandra and the Trojan War. We follow Cassandra for the first half of the book, and then pivot to Rin the Amazon for the second part. There’s a substantial time jump in between parts as well.
I think I would have been more engaged with the plot if the perspective was alternated instead of splitting the book directly in half. I preferred Rin’s perspective to Cassandra’s partly because there were actual big plot points happening in that half of the book, but also because Cassandra kind of got on my nerves.
As this is a middle grade novel, I am not the intended audience for this book, so this may be a favorite for the younger set who love mythology. As an adult mythology lover, this didn’t have enough substance for me. That being said, I did appreciate the author’s note at the end regarding why she made some of her choices in this book.
Tropes in this book include: mythology retelling (Cassandra, Trojan War), alternative “history”
CW: violence, war
The publisher provided a voicegalley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own. Sparrows in the Wind came out today!
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