The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
In The Lost Sisterhood, Anne Fortier reinvents the Amazons’ story in a well-plotted novel, following the parallel paths of the original Amazon Queen Myrina and her tribe in the past and that of Oxford lecturer and philologist Diana Morgan in the present.
As a girl growing up, I always wanted to believe that the warrior women called the Amazons were real. I read Greek mythology and loved the stories of those warrior queens such as Penthesilea, who fought in the Trojan War, and her sister Hippolyta, whose magical girdle was the object of one of the labors of Hercules. I also loved Wonder Woman, or Princess Diana of Themyscira as she is known in her Amazon homeland. She fought for justice, love, peace and sexual equality—although her outfit was a bit over the top: a red, white, and blue suit; indestructible bracelets; lasso of truth; and tiara. Their legacy lives on today, of course, in the name of the online shopping giant, Amazon.com which was named for the Amazon River which, in turn, was named for the legendary women warriors.
The Amazons’ journey reads like an odyssey through Greek history. Myrina and her sister Lilli form a band of women but are kidnapped by Greek pirates. In an attempt to rescue her sisters, the Amazons get involved in the Trojan War. This reinvented tale has a petulant Helen of Troy joining the band of Amazons and Paris choosing another bride. King Priam, Paris’ father and King of Troy, trusts the Amazons to protect a great gift as Troy is destroyed, and the band of sisters continues their journey.
Now, to the present. Diana Morgan began her obsession with the Amazons as a child under the guidance of her eccentric Granny—who does possess a magical bracelet and a secret notebook of symbols…and who disappeared mysteriously when Diana was young. Some of Diana’s colleagues in academia look down at her fixation on the Amazonian women, especially the aristocratic and handsome Lord Moselane, but the legend of an Amazon treasure, or hoard, and solving the puzzle of whether the Amazons were fact, legend, or myth turns Diana into a female Indiana Jones solving a Da Vinci Code of her own.
Diana’s adventure begins with a tempting offer from a mysterious foundation. It’s a chance to see a temple apparently inscribed with an as yet indecipherable ancient Amazonian alphabet, giving Diana a chance to finally prove the warrior women existed. She teams up with her archaeologist friend Rebecca and the sexy and dangerous Nick Barran. Temples explode, and the party is followed, robbed, and kidnapped as they seek the path of the Amazonian women, from North Africa to Greece, Germany, and Finland.
In the end, Diana’s Amazonian Granny leaves her a legacy of answers to the ancient mysteries of the Amazons, Troy—and love.