(Review) By Helen's Hand by Amalia Carosella

Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction, Greek Mythology, Odysseus
Pages: 429
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Amalia Carosella
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

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Tour Schedule @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

With divine beauty comes dangerous power.
Helen believed she could escape her destiny and save her people from utter destruction. After defying her family and betraying her intended husband, she found peace with her beloved Theseus, the king of Athens and son of Poseidon.
But peace did not last long. Cruelly separated from Theseus by the gods, and uncertain whether he will live or die, Helen is forced to return to Sparta. In order to avoid marriage to Menelaus, a powerful prince unhinged by desire, Helen assembles an array of suitors to compete for her hand. As the men circle like vultures, Helen dreams again of war—and of a strange prince, meant to steal her away. Every step she takes to protect herself and her people seems to bring destruction nearer. Without Theseus’s strength to support her, can Helen thwart the gods and stop her nightmare from coming to pass?

My Thoughts:
I reviewed Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella, April of 2015. I had mixed feelings about the book, but have fallen in love with By Helen's Hands.  I had reservations about a few of the themes in Helen of Sparta, but By Helen's Hands is an amazing story with a twist.
One of the things I've learned about human characters in Greek Mythology is they too can have extra special talents. They attribute the gods as having these special powers, but their strength, beauty, charm, reasoning, or heroic prowess are remarkable.
Helen has the "gift" of beauty and charm. Her beauty and charm is mesmerizing to men. They are obsessed with her body, voice, hair, eyes, and skin. She is intoxicating and they loose all rationality. She is something to be won, attained, and conquered.
Human character is a strong element in By Helen's Hands. I'm fascinated by the way in which both men and women react to Helen, because their reaction shows what is in their heart. Some of the characters want power or prestige, some want extravagant gifts, and some want to be a god themselves (to be worshiped.)
Few characters in By Helen's Hands love Helen. The rest of the characters want her for selfish reasons.
Odysseus is a secondary character. He is portrayed as neither one of the selfish men who want her, nor one of the men who love her. He is a balanced individual.
By Helen's Hands is a pre-story to the Trojan War. It is a twist on another possibility of Helen, Paris, and the Trojan War.
Menelaus is a cruel tyrant. He is an abusive man. He is Helen's thorn. Her monster. The person she most fears.
By Helen's Hands is a character driven story and I love stories where the characters (whether good or bad) come to life and keep me reading till the last page.
One of my favorite scenes in the story is where Hermes, Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera visit Paris. An enticing arrangement is presented. Paris thinks he has the upper hand, but the gods are not trustworthy. Throughout the story references are made about the gods, they are untrustworthy and connive. I feel the gods are bored and play with the lives of humans. The gods have the same problem as humans have: selfish desires. They are as imperfect as humans. The gods have special powers, but they are often indifferent and have malicious contempt for humanity.
A twist at the end of By Helen's Hands shocked me, I did not see the change in script. I loved the twist and I loved the ending.

Giveaway:  To win a $40 Amazon Gift Card, sponsored by Amalia Carosella, please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. By Helen's Hand

About The Author:
Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). For more information, visit her blog atwww.amaliacarosella.com. She also writes fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin.
You can also connect with Amalia on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter here and here.

Tour Schedule:
Monday, May 16
Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, May 17
Review at The Reading Queen
Wednesday, May 18
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Thursday, May 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, May 23
Review at Creating Herstory
Tuesday, May 24
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, May 25
Review at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, May 26
Review at Helen’s Daughter
Wednesday, June 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Friday, June 3
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, June 6
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, June 8
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, June 16
Review at Impressions In Ink
Friday, June 17
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, June 20
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, June 22
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, June 24
Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past


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