The siege of Troy has lasted almost ten years. Inside the walled city, food is scarce and death is common. From the heights of Mount Olympus, the Gods keep watch. But Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is bored with the endless, dreary war. Aided by Eros’s bow, the goddess sends two sisters down a bloody path to an awful truth: In the fury of war, love strikes the deadliest blows.
Heralded by fans and critics alike, Adèle Geras breathes personality, heartbreak, and humor into this classic story.
Told from the point of view of the women of Troy, portrays the last weeks of the Trojan War, when women are sick of tending the wounded, men are tired of fighting, and bored gods and goddesses find ways to stir things up.
It really is an epic tale and Miriam Margolyes does an incredible job of bringing all the characters to life. It is listed as Young Adult (or at least was originally published by HMH Books for Young Readers) but includes profanity, violence and sexuality so it seemed quite adult to me. [Amazon says ages 12 and up while PW says 14 and up. Parents will have to decide for themselves what is appropriate, etc.]
Geras brings a feminist perspective to this classic story but the appeal is much broader than that. Not only does she bring the gods and myths of ancient Greece to life but she offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the people impacted by the god’s whims and decisions. As was intended I am sure, it really flips your perspective.
Listening to this book was like a theatrical production such was Margolyes talent. It would be interesting to read it and see how one’s imagination handled the same characters and interactions to life. But anyone with an interest in classical mythology or ancient history will want to check this out if they haven’t already. For more mature YA readers this would be a great introduction to both the mythology and stories of this time but to the power of epic storytelling (with the caveat that maybe some familiarity with the stories would help you see how Geras adapts and interacts with the classics). And those looking for a female perspective will, of course, find Geras take satisfying.
But outside the mythology there is plenty of wrestling with human nature, war and peace, gender roles, love and lust, power and politics, and the like. Like all good literature, it transcends time and place and offers insight into what it means to be human. Sure, in a specific time and place and with some unique characteristics but still a sense of the innate issue humans deal with no matter when or where they live.
All in all, this audio-book was great entertainment. It would make a great listen on a longer trip (10 hours on Audible) but I listened to it on my commute and didn’t feel like it was too chopped up.