Ancient Sparta during the Second Messenian
War, this is the story of two women, one beautiful and the other ugly,
who are both captured and enslaved in the same raid. It is
the story of how they react to their new situation and about the role
and nature of beauty in human relations.
beauty is so great that it captures the attention of the Messenian
leader, Aristomenes. Unable to marry her for political
reasons, he nevertheless makes her a cherished concubine - until the
Spartan "Scourge of Messenia," Agesandros, captures Aristomenes' palace
by surprise. Niobe suddenly finds herself a slave, and the
spoils of the Spartan prince Anaxilas.
beautiful and coveted Niobe, Mika is so disfigured by warts
that her own uncles sold her into slavery when she was still a
child. She is scorned by the Spartiates also, and becomes the
spoils of Agesandros' squire, Leon, a slave himself. He sends
her back to serve his master's wife on her estate in Sparta.
encounters the hostility of the Spartan queen, Mika
encounters a young surgeon determined to reduce the loss of life in
childbed - and with a cure for warts. And Anaxilas falls in
love with the beautiful daughter of Mika's mistress.
picks up where Are They Singing in
Sparta? left off, and although the
novel revolves around a classic love triangle, it is also a
reflection on what beauty is and how it affects human interactions,
with a surprise ending.
you will find the research materials I used for this book and website. These materials are also additional
recommendations of both fiction and non-fiction books, including
selected ancient and modern sources for your own research and/or reading pleasure.
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