The Amazon and the Warrior

Written by Judith Hand
Review by Suzanne Crane

This is a novel about the Amazon Queen, Penthesilea, who ruled during the time the Trojan War was raging. Judith Hand takes a very refreshing approach to this well-worn tale. She dramatizes Amazon culture while downplaying the usual cast of characters and events, which form a distant backdrop for most of the novel.

This is a well-written novel with many interesting theories – grounded in sound research and historical insight – on the Amazons’ role and contributions to history. For instance, one idea Hand proposes is that the Amazons were the guardians of iron-making knowledge. Indeed, should that knowledge have fallen into the wrong hands, it would have resulted in the devastation of a number of civilizations. Hand uses her considerable skill to convey that Amazon society is not the man-hating, bloodthirsty stereotype usually promoted in the general consciousness, but an intellectual, nurturing and trading culture.

Ms. Hand skillfully portrays the events which eventually drive Penthesilea to Troy and her final fated battle with Achilles. The Amazon and the Warrior should interest any reader interested in finding a new way to look at Amazons and the epic Trojan War.