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by John Alleyn

In a world not quite our own, young Alexandra is driven into exile before she can take her mother's place as queen of her city. Alone but for a single devoted guardsman, she travels to the Athens of Pericles, hoping to find allies. In a world where women are ignored at best, property at worst, can she find the help she needs to return to her proper place? "Sounds interesting!"

Chapter 1

In late morning, a procession set out from the gates of the city.

As always at festival time, the people were in their finest, especially the aristoi who led the procession. Noblemen wore white kilts with elaborate embroidery in blue or crimson, leaving their torsos and most of their legs bare. Their dark hair fell to their shoulders, some in braids, some left in loose cascades of curls. Their beards were carefully trimmed and teased into elaborate curls. Those who were young and fit strod...

Chapter 2

By the time Alexandra had finished her meal and caught a short catnap in the cool shade inside the temple, most of the people had set out back for the city. Only a few remained, to escort her and the king as they descended from the heights.

Before them and below them, the city stood.

The ancient core of the city had been built on a small island named Ortygia, about ten stadia long from north to south, that stood just off the coast. Once the entire city had been confined to Ortygia, b...

Chapter 3

High on the back of the palace, there was a portico adjacent to the royal quarters. From there, one could look out over the south reaches of the city, away to where Ortygia trailed off into a narrow, rocky peninsula, and beyond that nothing but the Great Sea. There the queen could enjoy sunlight and fresh breeze in peace.

Queen Kassandra of Danassos, third of her name, hegemon-protector of the Dorians and Ionians of Sikania, Pasiphaƫ-priestess of the Goddess, the most powerful woman in al...

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