We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

An exceptional combination of history and mythology – ‘an intriguing, luxuriously realised novel’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Subtly moving, playful…a novel that brought me to tears more than once. Lavinia is a delightful heroine’ GUARDIAN

‘Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken, but chose my man and my fate. The man was famous, the fate obscure; not a bad balance.’

Lavinia is the daughter of the King of Latium, a victorious warrior who loves peace; she is her father’s closest companion. Now of an age to wed, Lavinia’s mother favours her own kinsman, King Turnus of Rutulia, handsome, heroic, everything a young girl should want. Instead, Lavinia dreams of mighty Aeneas, a man she has heard of only from a ghost of a poet, who comes to her in the gods’ holy place and tells her of her future, and Aeneas’ past…

If she refuses to wed Turnus, Lavinia knows she will start a war – but her fate was set the moment the poet appeared to her in a dream and told her of the adventurer who fled fallen Troy, holding his son’s hand and carrying his father on his back…


The focus on the women's side of the house...serves to give them rightful prominence within the fabric of a society where men are second in command only to fate...Le Guin [makes] mythology tangible, exciting and a surprising joy to read
A superbly researched, beautifully written, profound and moving novel
Subtly moving, playful...a novel that brought me to tears more than once. Lavinia is a delightful heroine
Compulsively readable...a winning combination of history and mythology featuring an unlikely heroine imaginatively plucked from literary obscurity
Elegant and eloquent
Beautiful and moving...Highly recommended
An intriguing, luxuriously realised novel