She was the original Cinderella....Doricha is twelve when her father is murdered by a roving band of Greeks. Betrayed by a jealous priestess and sold into slavery, headstrong Dori loses her most valuable possession-her freedom. She hopes that one day she can truly be free, but not even Aesop, her mentor, can protect her. The harsh world of classical Greece has little use for the minds of women, and she finds her body traded to another owner, who transports her to a new life of luxury and political turmoil in the faraway deserts of Egypt. All she has to do is be beautiful, all she has to do is love him, and she will be kept safe.
The problem is, Dori doesn't want to be kept - by any man. Not even the god-king Amasis, Pharaoh of Egypt.
From the ancient Thracian temple of the Bacchae to the exotic lands of Egypt where political intrigue coils like a nest of asps, Dori learns that fulfilling her father's dying wish is not about bands around her wrists so much as it is bands around her heart. Based on persons and historical events of 26th dynasty Egypt, Hetaera fictionalizes the life of Doricha/Rhodopis--a most extraordinary woman who changed the world.
I bought this because of good reviews on Amazon. I kept listening to this thinking, "People liked it. It's got to get better at some point." For me, it didn't. I found the characters one-dimensional, and there was a lot of "telling" (i.e. this happened to me, and then this happened to me and then this happened to me) and not so much "showing" (developing characters through dialogue and interactions). The main character also remained wildly naive in her actions, in spite of her continuously telling the audience how she had grown.
The narrator didn't help things. The character is supposed to transform throughout the story, and yet the narrator voices the heroine with a girlish voice for the entire story. And for the men's voices, the narrator simply tries to deepen her voice, which just ends up sounding farcical.
Bottom line, it killed many hours of commute time. But I was really hoping for historical fiction and not a fairy tale; the book didn't come through for me. I don't think I'll be looking for anything more by this author because it was just too superficial a story. It's too bad, because the idea had promise, and so many parts of the story really could have been interesting if they had been developed.
This is one of those books that leave you feeling a little sad when it ends...I'll miss having Doricha along for my daily commute and nature walks! Coffey has composed the perfect blend of adventure, intrigue and steamy romance all wrapped up in the beautiful package of Greek and Egyptian culture. Absolutely loved it and can't wait for her next book!