Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons (Young Heroes Series #2)

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Hippolyta is a true Amazon princess: Her heart beats for the thrill of the hunt, the rush of her daily battle training, and the abiding community of her fellow female warriors. She would do anything to protect the secure, empowering life the Amazons have built. But when her entire world is threatened, will this thirteen-year-old warrior be able to save it?

Thrust into a race with time, fighting against incredible odds and even the gods themselves, Hippolyta will have to do the ...

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Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons

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Hippolyta is a true Amazon princess: Her heart beats for the thrill of the hunt, the rush of her daily battle training, and the abiding community of her fellow female warriors. She would do anything to protect the secure, empowering life the Amazons have built. But when her entire world is threatened, will this thirteen-year-old warrior be able to save it?

Thrust into a race with time, fighting against incredible odds and even the gods themselves, Hippolyta will have to do the unthinkable to save the legendary race of female warriors: accept the help and love of a boy. And as she journeys to her nation's mythical homeland of Arimaspa in search of salvation, Hippolyta finally learns what it really means to be an Amazon: finding the courage to face your fears and overcome them in order to change the world.

Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris have written yet another compelling and engaging adventure story, this time exploring the secret, mythical world of the Amazons.

Thirteen-year-old Hippolyta, a princess of the Amazons, fights to save her people from destruction when her mother the Queen refuses to sacrifice her second-born male child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Yolen teams up with Harris in a continuation of their collaboration on the Young Heroes series, with a second adventure starring an Amazonian princess who undergoes a dangerous journey, to take her baby brother to his father in Troy. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Hippolyta, an Amazon princess, faces enormous challenges when it falls her lot to save the entire Amazon society. Her mother Otrere, Queen of the Amazons, has done the unthinkable. Not only did she give birth to a second son, she refuses to kill him, even though an ancient curse threatens the existence of the Amazon community should any queen ignore it. Otrere sends Hippolyta to take the baby on the long and dangerous trip to his father in Troy. Despite the fact that she is an Amazon princess, Hippolyta can't imagine how she can manage such a huge task. But she realizes that she must, no matter how much the idea frightens her. The journey is difficult, but she manages with courage, resourcefulness, and a little help from others, to meet each challenge. Giving the second son to his father does not satisfy the vengeful gods who insisted on the son's death and a curse of a sort of living death falls on the Amazon community. When Hippolyta returns to her home and finds what has happened, she is faced with having to undertake another dangerous quest to save everyone and everything she loves. The action keeps the reader turning pages to see what will happen next. This book is part of the "Young Heroes" series.
—Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-An Amazon princess learns about honor and family in this adventure set during the Golden Age of Greece. Hippolyta's mother, Amazon Queen Otrere, gives birth to her second son and refuses to kill him as tradition demands. When she is imprisoned, she turns to Hippolyta to save the baby and take him to his father, King Laomedon of Troy. The girl's mission is successful, but she is to be killed for offending Laomedon. Tithonus, the first son of her mother and Laomedon, saves her, and they return to the Amazon capital, only to find the Amazons cursed. Athena informs Hippolyta that to save her people, she must travel to their ancestral home and sacrifice Tithonus. The siblings survive adventure and enemies as they travel, and Hippolyta must decide whether her brother's life is more important than her goddess's command. While the gods play an important part in this story, historical detail creates a realistic background for a minor character in the mythology of the Trojan War. Hippolyta is a strong heroine who faces difficult choices and grows as the story unfolds, and secondary characters are also well defined. This is a detailed, compelling story, and its nonstop action will involve even reluctant readers. Yolen and Harris offer a unique look at what Amazon life might have been like in this quality addition to the series, begun with Odysseus in the Serpent Maze (HarperCollins, 2001).-Beth L. Meister, Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Zena fans take heed: Yolen and Harris draw a minor figure from old Greek tales front and center for an edifying, as well as action-filled, encounter with quarreling gods, monsters, rival Amazons, and-ugh-men. To save her mother's life and throne, teenaged princess Hippolyta spirits her newly born brother off to his father, the arrogant Trojan king Laomedon, in hopes of gathering military aid. Instead, she's lashed to a headland for a sea monster to eat. Enter Laomedon's other son, chatty nine-year-old Tithonus, to free her, and to accompany her on a subsequent mission to the ancient, dead city where the Amazons had originally been forced to become warriors after their men were all slain in a squabble between Artemis and Apollo. The authors energetically carry their irritable, warlike protagonist and her garrulous companion (Tithonus: "I knew we'd have been better off with a chariot. A person doesn't get cranky in a chariot") past one threat after another, as well as Hippolyta's firm conviction that all males are hateful. Ultimately, she even defends Tithonus from bloodthirsty Artemis, and learns that her own father is Ares, presented here as a wise, big-brotherly sort who pops up repeatedly in various guises to save Hippolyta's bacon. As in the "Young Heroes" series opener, Odysseus in the Serpent Maze (2001), the level of explicit violence may be low but the action is nonstop, fleshed out with accurate details from both history and myth that will give readers a taste of what the classical stories themselves have to offer. (Fiction. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064408486
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/27/2003
  • Series: Young Heroes Series , #2
  • Edition description: 1ST HARPER
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen
Jane Yolen
JaneYolen lives in Massachusetts.

John Schoenherr lives in New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Hippolyta's eyes were fixed on the bird as it flew over the treetops. Carefully she drew an arrow from the quiver that hung at her hip, but she didn't raise her bow.

“Are you going to shoot?” asked a puzzled voice at her side.

Hippolyta shook her head irritably, jabbing an elbow at her little sister to make her move away.

Antiope took a small step backward. “The bird will be past soon.”

“It's a big plump partridge,” Hippolyta whispered. “It doesn't fly that fast. Besides, they're usually in pairs. Like Amazons.” Antiope giggled.

“Be quiet, little one,” Hippolyta said, fitting the arrow into her bowstring. “I'm paired with you today because Mother insisted. So close your mouth and watch. It's the only way you'll learn anything.”

There were a few moments of silence. Then Antiope asked again, “Shouldn't you be taking aim?”

Hippolyta lowered the bow and arrow, turned, and glared at her sister. “I was taking aim,” she told Antiope. “One must aim with the eye, not the bow.” Already she'd decided at the exact point she would fire. She'd fixed upon a spot directly ahead of the bird. But now, with Antiope's interruptions, the bird had disappeared, landing somewhere in the twisty undergrowth.

“Oh.” The little girl was clearly disappointed. “It's gone.”

“Never mind,” Hippolyta began, then stopped speaking as the second bird took to the air.

In one quick movement Hippolyta lifted the bow, hauled back on the string, fired the arrow. The gray-brown bird flew straight into the arrow's path, and the sharpened bronze point thudded into its breast.

“By the moon!”Hippolyta gasped, for a second arrow struck the bird no more than the blink of an eye after the first. It tore through one of the outstretched wings and threw the partridge into a wild spin. The little bird plummeted to earth in a whirl of feathers right into a small copse of trees.

“What happened?” Antiope cried.

“Someone's trying to steal our dinner!” Hippolyta's eyes narrowed angrily. Slinging her bow over her shoulder and snatching up a spear from the ground where she'd jammed it point first, Hippolyta bounded toward the copse.

“Wait for me!” Antiope squealed, running after her sister and waving her own spear, which was so small it was scarcely more than a toy. But then she was only eight years old.

Like the other Amazons, Hippolyta had been trained as a huntress from early childhood, and she knew where to search for the fallen bird. Slinging her bow over her shoulder, she raced through the undergrowth at full speed, heading toward the copse and into a small clearing. She was unpleasantly surprised to see another Amazon there before her, already tying a cord around the dead partridge's neck.


No mistaking that thick tangle of yellow hair tied up in a cluster of tight braids. No mistaking that superior sneer.

“You're too slow, Hippolyta,” Molpadia said. “The goddess of the hunt grants no second chances.”

Molpadia was not much older than Hippolyta -- less than two years -- but already she wore the small square ear pendant that showed she'd killed a man in battle. Under her chin was a livid scar, a reminder of how close she'd come to dying in that same battle, when a Lycian charioteer had caught her with a stroke of his spear.

Hippolyta was tired of hearing the story. Molpadia told it at every festival. Still, earning an earbob was no excuse for taking another hunter's prize.

“You know the laws against theft,” Hippolyta said, keeping her voice smooth. “It applies just as much here on the hunting grounds as it does back in Themiscyra.”

“Can you deny you saw my arrow strike the bird?” Molpadia asked defiantly, lifting her chin so the scar seemed to grin.

“It was my shot that struck first. My shot that hit the breast. My shot that killed it.” Hippolyta knew she could play the defiance game as well as the older girl.

“I was here first to claim the prize,” Molpadia said.

Hippolyta gripped the spear in both hands, pointing the tip at Molpadia. “Claiming and keeping are two different things.”

Molpadia let the partridge drop and raised her own spear. “Your mother may be one of our queens, Hippolyta, but that gives you no special status.”

“I claim none,” Hippolyta answered quickly, “only what is mine by right of my own arm.”

“Then show me that arm,” Molpadia cried, shaking off her bow and tossing aside the quiver.

It was an unmistakable call to duel. Hippolyta likewise took off bow and quiver and dropped her fur cap onto the ground. Then she began a low circle to her left.

Molpadia too began circling, and they each looked for an opening where they could strike.

Just then Antiope darted into the clearing, gasping.

Hippolyta heard her little sister but ignored everything but the older girl and the spear. Never having been in an actual battle, Hippolyta was at a slight disadvantage against Molpadia. But she'd never been wounded, either, and that gave her an edge. “Once slashed, twice shy,” the Amazons said. Of course they said it of their enemies, not themselves.

Well, at this moment Molpadia was the enemy. Hippolyta stopped thinking and let the years of training take over.

She noticed a splash of crimson on the tip of Molpadia's spear. The blood of my partridge, she thought. But no, there was too much blood for such a small target.

Almost casually Hippolyta said, “Fighting already today?” She smiled and gestured with her head at the weapon. “They say the ones who fight too often are the ones who die too soon.” Her battle teacher, Old Okyale, always said: “Cite laws at the foe, even if you make them up on the spot. It throws the enemy off guard.”

Molpadia laughed. “I have the same teacher as you, Hippolyta. You won't catch me that way...

Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons. Copyright © by Jane Yolen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons (Young Heroes Series #2)

    This book was awesome. I loved how Hippolyta was so brave! She got real attached to her half brother without knowing. Anyhow real great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2002

    Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons (Young Heroes Series #2)

    I loved this book!!! I thought is was cool that Hippolyta's father was Ares!!! If you like Greek Mythology you will like this book. I guarantee it!!!

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