For the Winner Hardcover – 15 Jun 2017
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"In For the Winner, Emily Hauser tells the compelling story of the brave, strong and clever Atalanta as she seeks to take her rightful place in her father's life. Her many adventures with Jason and his Argonauts kept me utterly absorbed. Here is a heroine to cheer for, and a book to cherish." (Margot Livesey)
"One of the most fascinating and innovative recent novelisations of the legendary journey of Jason and the Argonauts to capture the Golden Fleece seen from the eyes of the only heroine who, according to myth, took part: Atalanta. Although Jason and the Argonauts is one of the most famous stories of Greek mythology, the story of Atalanta has been less known or even neglected throughout the centuries. Emily Hauser's novel fills this gap with intellectual erudition, passion and paralleled imagination in order to give us, in the liveliest way possible, the story of an amazing female character and her journey from anonymity to immortality through her unbelievable heroic deeds." (Antony Makrinos, Fellow in Classics at UCL)
"An enchanting, dramatic novel that brings to life iconic mythic characters, including a woman whose voice had long been silenced." (Judith Starkston, author of HAND OF FIRE)
"For the Winner is beautifully descriptive and full of historical detail, easily drawing the reader into a lost world of gods and heroes. By taking the viewpoint of Atalanta, a lesser known character from Greek myth, Hauser gives us a refreshingly original take on Jason's famous quest for the Golden Fleece." (Glyn Iliffe, author of KING OF ITHACA)
"A brilliant, epic tale full of breath-taking action with a shining star at its centre, Atalanta, a female warrior of incredice force and drive. This gem of a book will leave you desperate for the next Emily Hauser novel." (Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW)
"Hauser recreates one of the oldest tales in Greek myth with great skill and panache." (Sunday Times)
"An enthralling re-telling of Greek myth . . . Hauser's rendering of Atalanta is captivating, the story-telling masterful and engaging. The ancient myths are in good hands!" (Dr Michael Scott, Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University)
"An erudite page-turner." (Lady)
"It’s wonderful how Emily Hauser brings alive this Bronze Age world . . . this is immersive writing, marvellously descriptive and evocative . . . an elegant, exciting and in some ways moving story." (Kate Atherton For Winter Nights)
"It is Atalanta, determined to prove herself every bit as good as a man, who turns this into a story which speaks to us . . . Despite the will of the gods, she is very clearly in charge of her own destiny. It is this mixture of feminism and self-determination which makes For the Winner a very modern and relevant novel." (Historical Novel Society)
The enthralling new historical novel by the author of the acclaimed For the Most Beautiful, retelling the time-honoured legend of Jason and the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece, and of Atalanta, the princess who became a warrior and who fought alongside the warrior heroes of Greece on the greatest adventure of their age...See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The contrast between the two main characters was brilliant! I !loved Atalanta, I loved how strong she was and how she didn’t let her being a women hold her back from what she wanted to do, especially at a time when women weren’t considered equal to men. She is very brave and stands up for herself, not taking any nonsense from anyone, even those who are meant to be above her. She is also very loyal, she looks after her friends and makes sure they have everything they need. As much as I liked Atalanta, I loathed Jason. He is so cold and cruel and I found that I really didn’t want him to succeed. His attitude towards others is vile and, because of this, he clashes with everyone during the voyage. He tries to assert his authority through fear which does lead to a few unsettling scenes, though I was always pleased to see him get his comeuppance when Atalanta stood up against him. It made for such an enjoyable reading experience having such an obvious hero to cheer and a villain to hate. It made me much more involved in the story and i wanted to continue reading to discover who wins!
This book mostly follows Atalanta’s story as she tries to discover who she is and prove herself, however there are bits throughout the book that describes more about the Gods and how they are viewing the voyage. This was very interesting to read about and helped to provide some comic moments as they argue amongst themselves and disagree about who they should support.
Emily Hauser brings the setting of ancient Greece alive throughout this book. I felt like I was there, walking alongside Atalanta as the images she describes are so vivid. I enjoyed learning a bit more about the Roman’s way of life and their culture. The description of how the slaves were treated was very galling to read about, and did make for some upsetting parts.
This is Emily Hauser’s second book, though it is the first one I have read and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future. If you enjoyed The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller or The Empress of Rome trilogy by Kate Quinn I think you will enjoy this book as I felt they were similar in style. If you are a fan of good historical fiction you must read this book! It’s definitely one of my top books this year.
Huge thanks to Hannah Bright and Doubleday publishers for my copy of this book.
As with her previous novel, Hauser presents the reader with a tale from Greek mythology, but told from the perspective of a female character. In this case, we have Atalanta, abandoned on a mountain at her father's command during a winter storm, but rescued and taken in by a peasant family. Growing up, she learns to wield a bow and a sword, and, upon discovering the truth about her heritage, seeks out the father who abandoned her, determined to prove her worth.
I absolutely loved Atalanta. She is smart and capable, and if ever there was ever a feminist in ancient Greece, it is surely her. I loved her determination to prove herself, her pride and unwillingness to concede defeat, even when faced with daunting odds. I also loved her desire to go on an adventure, and to be comparable to the heroes of the time – her attitude spoke to the part of me that always wanted adventures as a child.
Also present in For the Winner are the meddling Gods and Goddesses of the time, most notably Hera who loves to involve herself in human affairs. I loved the portrayal of these beings as proud, manipulative and self-obsessed, yet ultimately fallible and capable of being outwitted, often by each other, and I think that the inclusion of these beings in the tale adds a little something extra to the story.
If I enjoyed For the Most Beautiful, I absolutely loved For the Winner. I think that part of this was because I'm less familiar with the story of Jason and the Argonauts than I am with the siege of Troy, although I remember watching a film of Jason and the Argonauts with my dad while growing up (although it bore little resemblance to this novel). If you’re interested in mythology, this is definitely a novel worth reading, but even if that element doesn’t appeal, I think that fans of historical fiction and / or fantasy adventures would find much to enjoy in Hauser’s novels, which can be read as standalone tales, despite being loosely linked.
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