Hand of Fire By Judith Starkston Review and Info

Blurb: The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.

Bio:  Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.

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Find an excerpt, Q&A, book reviews, ancient recipes, historical background as well as on-going information about the historical fiction community on Starkston’s website www.JudithStarkston.com

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Visit on Goodreads Hand of Fire











Buy Links:


Amazon UK



Link to the tour schedule: Hand of Fire Fireship Press Virtual Tour

Advance Praise:

“But what is the difference between a good historical novel and a brilliant one?
I suggest you read Judith Starkston’s Hand of Fire and you’ll discover the answer.” Helen Hollick, Historical Novels Review Editor and author of Forever Queen

“In Hand of Fire, Starkston’s careful research brings ancient Greece and Troy to life with passion and grace. This haunting and insightful novel makes you ache for a mortal woman, Briseis, in love with a half-god, Achilles, as she fights to make her own destiny in a world of capricious gods and warriors. I devoured this page-turning escape from the modern world!” — Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

“In her portrayal of Briseis, Judith Starkston has cast a bright light on one of the Iliad‘s most intriguing sub-plots. With her fast-paced story, three-dimensional characters, and fascinating cultural details, Starkston has given historical fiction fans a tale to remember.” –Priscilla Royal, author of Covenant with Hell


My Review:


In this beautifully written and meticulously researched novel of Troy, Judith Starkston has created a window into the past with vivid details and a look at a love affair unrivaled by most.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, this book will excite you and fulfill your desire to get to know those who lived years before. The author has done a beautiful job giving us a view of what life was like during the Trojan war and the political and emotional battles families went through at the time.

There is a lot of detail in this novel. Down to the items the characters eat, drink and the world surrounding them, the author did not let a single detail slide. I was amazed by how clear her vision was when she wrote this. The love story is filled with longing and desperation. It is the kind of love and desire that all good romances should be built around.

The descriptions of war time events were also meticulous and written in such a way that you feel you are standing there alongside the characters.

This complex story has many different layers, social, political, romantic and will keep you on your toes until the end. For those who love historical novels, this is one you shouldn’t miss.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.