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For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser

For the Most Beautiful

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The story of the Trojan War told by two of its most important, yet often overlooked, characters: Briseis, the slave girl Agamemnon and Achilles fought over, and Krisayis (Shakespeare’s Cressida) promised to the Gods but lover of a prince. Also very present are the Gods themselves, playing with lives, betting on battles and arguing amongst themselves. It is a well-known tale, moving, frightening, bloody. This re-telling shows a feminine side, away from the battles but still dependent on their outcome. It is an engrossing world, easy to fall into. As spies, lovers, slaves and prophets these women of Troy show themselves the equal of the more famous men. Even if you know the story well this is still an entrancing read. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Emily Hauser you might also like to read books by David Gemmell, Ursula K Le Guin and Madeline Miller.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Catherine Bryce - 'This is a sheer delight to read - Greek mythology and Greek Gods.  I read it in two sittings and wow!!'
  • Karen Swanscott - 'A beautifully written and enchanting reimagining of Homer's The Iliad.  Emily Hauser opens up this story to a whole new generation from a fresh and unique perspective.'
  • Tracey Thomas - 'I started with some trepidation and ended staying up half the night to finish.'
  • Alison Layland - 'An inventive, well-researched retelling of the events of The Iliad.'
  • Jo-anne Atkinson - 'A lovely re-imagination of the world of the Iliad told from the perspective of the hidden voices, the women...This is a really enjoyable read and the debut of an interesting new voice.'
  • Cathy Small - 'Emily brings this story to life as we see the viewpoint from the gods and the mortals. It is a story full of love, deception and war.'
  • Jennifer Moville - 'I enjoyed knowing some of the Greek history and mythology but this book rather left me confused.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'I was pleasantly surprised as this is not usually the genre that I read, and I will be looking out for other books by this author.'
  • Sharon Lowe - 'Interesting, enjoyable, factual. The first of a trilogy from Emily Hauser that brings to life the ancient gods. Looking forward to the others in the series.'
  • Sarah Hamid - 'A captivating, original retelling of the story of the Trojan war - with a beautiful dustcover!'
  • Edel Waugh - ' A story about Gods and mortals is always going to make an interesting story and this one did not disappoint.'
  • Lisa Redmond - 'a wonderful story of love, loyalty and war. I really enjoyed revisiting this classic work and seeing the fresh perspective that the author presents.'
  • Isobel Finbow - 'A classic legend for the modern day that is very easily digestible.'


For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser

Three thousand years ago a war took place that gave birth to legends - to Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks, and Hector, prince of Troy. It was a war that shook the very foundations of the world. But what if there was more to this epic conflict? What if there was another, hidden tale of the Trojan War? Now is the time for the women of Troy to tell their story. Thrillingly imagined and startlingly original, For the Most Beautiful reveals the true story of true for the first time. The story of Krisayis, daughter of the Trojans' High Priest, and of Briseis, princess of Pedasus, who fight to determine the fate of a city and its people in this ancient time of mischievous gods and mythic heroes. In this novel full of passion and revenge, loyalty and betrayal, bravery and sacrifice, Emily Hauser breathes exhilarating new life into one of the greatest legends of all - in a tale that has waited millennia to be told. 'Brings ancient Troy wildly, raucously, passionately alive' Manda Scott, author of Boudica.


'Once in a while something comes along that's so utterly right, so necessary for now, that you wonder why nobody thought of it before. Emily Hauser's stunning debut novel ... brings ancient Troy wildly, raucously, passionately alive and tells at last the stories of those who really mattered.' -- MANDA SCOTT, bestselling author of Boudica and Into the Fire

'A feast for the senses, richly described and effortlessly easy to read. It brings to life an ancient world long gone, and in so doing reminds us of the traumas and costs of war, which are sadly still so much a part of our world today.' -- MICHAEL SCOTT, presenter of Rome's Invisible City

'A delight from start to finish. Hauser's fresh perspective on one of the great archetypal epics, in focusing on the marginalised women's stories, makes for fascinating reading ... a clever premise and a thoroughly enjoyable.' -- ELIZABETH FREMANTLE, author of Sisters of Treason

'In her sparkling debut novel classicist Emily Hauser offers a fresh take on the old but living legend spun so artfully in Homer's Iliad ... tells a ripping good story.' -- PAUL CARTLEDGE, Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge

'A brilliant re-imagining of the Iliad, faithful to the original yet completely accessible ... the two young women at the centre of the drama are faithfully representative of their time and place yet feel compellingly contemporary ... Emily Hauser has given us a lively new take on a classic.' -- TERRY HAWKINS, author of The Rage of Achilles

About the Author

Emily Hauser

Born in Brighton and brought up in Suffolk, Emily Hauser studied Classics at Cambridge where she was taught by Mary Beard. She then went to Harvard as a Fulbright Scholar and now studies and teaches at Yale, where she is completing her PhD. For the Most Beautiful - the first book in the Golden Apple trilogy - is her debut novel.

Author photo © Gretje Ferguson

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Book Info

Publication date

30th June 2016


Emily Hauser

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Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd


496 pages


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction
Myth & legend told as fiction



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