This is the third in the Shadows from the Past series, and I think it’s the best to date. Jemima and Joe have lost their parents because they got stuck on the wrong side of a time travel gateway without the key to get back. Jemima has the key now, and she, Joe, their next door neighbour and best friend Charlie, and their cat Max, are all old hands at going through the portal and finding out what goes on in the past. They are now beginning to find clues to their parents as well.
In this story, they land in the middle of the Trojan War – as in the Greeks fighting the Trojans outside Troy for ten years. It’s all going to end when the Greeks hide inside a wooden horse and the Trojans take it inside their city and thus let the Greeks in to destroy them. Cassandra has foretold it, and nobody believes her, since that is Cassandra’s doom, bestowed by the gods.
The gods are important in Greek myths; they are always interfering and having their own petty squabbles, and using mortals to solve their problems – usually in a mean and painful way. Thus it is here, and we switch from what Jemima, Joe, Charlie and Max are doing on the ground, to what Aphrodite is doing with the pieces that represent them on her board game.
I read a lot of myth and legend when I was young, but I used to get very irritated with the way the gods interfered, and I gave up on the Greek ones for that reason. I used to get all the heroes and kings and queens mixed up as a result. After finishing this book I feel perfectly clear who they all are! Ms Leighton-Porter has made them all well-rounded characters, full of petty foibles, or heroism, or stupidity, depending on what is required. I love the way Jemima, Joe, Charlie and Max became pawns on the board, and particularly Max’s heroic role.
In some ways this story isn’t as exciting as the others, since the kids are in less actual danger, but I thought it was the best so far; the story is brilliantly interwoven with the traditional one, the role of each time traveller is realistic, and I understand the issues of the Trojan wars better than ever before. Kudos to Ms Leighton-Porter and roll on number 4 – the Shadow of the Pyramid!
I got this book from Amazon, possibly free, but it was my own selection and the views are my own.