Shadow of Athena

In a cruel, centuries-old tradition, lovely sixteen-year-old Marpessa of Lokris is chosen by lot to serve as a slave for one year in distant Troy, across the Aegean Sea. She can return, but only if she survives. Marpessa leaves behind her devoted mother, and also a ruthless oligarch, Klonios, who vows to have her as his wife upon her return. The young slave Arion is sent to escort the maiden on her treacherous journey. After delivering her safely, he escapes slavery to eke out a living on the Trojan shore, until barbarians raid Troy. Captivated by the girl he remembers from the sea journey, Arion rushes to save her. The two find themselves marooned in a rough, unforgiving land teeming with dangers. Struggling to survive, they yield to a forbidden love. Marpessa longs to remain with her beloved, but Arion knows he must give her up. When they lose everything in a deadly flash flood, he must return her safely home, despite the price on his head as a runaway slave and the evil Klonios who lurks in wait. By the time they reach Lokris, Marpessa is with child. Enraged, Klonios orders their deaths, but Arion will stop at nothing to save Marpessa’s life. Even at the cost of his own.

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