Sparrows in the Wind


The Trojan War sets the stage for this epic retelling, delivered through the perspectives of two princesses, Cassandra of Troy and Rin of the Amazons. The novel’s first half belongs to 14-year-old Cassandra, who, after rebuking a sexual advance by the god Apollo, is cursed by him to see the future yet be believed by no one. What follows is an adventure through the backstory of the Iliad, wherein Cassandra—aided by Eurus, mischievous god of the east wind and bashful love interest—fights to save her city from its terrible fate. The second half jumps several years to when young Rin and her small company of Amazons come to Troy’s aid. She befriends an ostracized Cassandra, now grown, and their fates intertwine up through the end of the war, which is beautifully reimagined by Levine.

This is unquestionably a work of fantasy, though it draws on historical influence, placing readers believably in ancient Troy. Despite the setting, the focus is less on war and more on the characters' hearts, minds, and dealings, and it makes for a fascinating ride through the famous epic. Levine's simple, crystalline prose is pure pleasure, and with so much ground to cover, events are often dispatched in brief passages, reflecting perhaps a Homeric style. All in all, a delight for young fans of Greek myths and a thoughtful adventure for fans of upper-middle-grade fantasy.
Booklist, October 15, 2022

...a compelling read, weaving history, legend, and imagined possibilities. This welcome addition to Greek mythology–inspired stories centers multidimensional female characters often lacking in traditional tales.

An original, superbly executed reimagining of a story with enduring appeal.
Kirkus, July 27, 2022

Twining the source material with contemporary sensibilities, Levine emphasizes strong female protagonists in a richly imagined, urgently told mythological variation.
Publisher's Weekly, June 2022