I am a former stay-at-home mom who has given up her hopes and dreams of becoming a professional reader. I now spend my days showing small children how to play games on computers. Right now I'm living vicariously through my 9 year-old who is reading everything she can get her hands on.
I wanted to review this book as soon as I finished it. However, I still had two hours left in a vehicle and no desire to write a full review of a book using only my iPhone. There are still some things I need to do the old fashioned way. By old fashioned, I mean actually put thoughts to paper before typing them out.
Last weekend, the other adult and I, ran away from home. It was a bank holiday. My mother-in-law happens to work for a bank. She asked if she could entertain my little people for the day to which I responded, "How about for the weekend?" It was a hard sell but in the end, I think both parties came away happy. What does any of that have to do with this book? Nothing really, except that this was one of the books I picked to accompany me during the 6+ I was going to be spending in a vehicle. What do you expect me to do? Have a conversation with the person driving? I don't think so.
Anyway, enough with that. I knew 20 pages into this book, it was the type of book that begs to be devoured in one sitting. Luckily for me, I had all kinds of time.
This books opens with two women who will inevitably have a front seat for one history's greatest battles. They are just your typical women who spend their days wondering about weddings, prophecies, getting caught in bed with men they shouldn't be in bed with, and how they can rebel against their father. Just another day in ancient Troy. The story quickly builds to the arrival of the Greeks on Trojan beaches. From there the reader is drawn into what becomes of these two women as they are thrown into the chaos that becomes the Trojan war.
I loved nearly everything about this book. I thought the writing was as beautiful as the women of Troy. I developed a slight crush on Achilles. I'm not sure if that was due to this book or the fact that since the movie Troy, Brad Pitt has always been Achilles in my head. I would have liked to seen a little more development out of Achilles but this novel was never meant to be about the men involved in this war.
My favorite parts (and based on other reviews, I seem to be in the minority here), were the interspersed scenes featuring the gods watching from on high. If this author would have written a book about Troy told entirely from the point of view of the gods, I would have devoured it just as quickly. I know there is a great deal of research and discovery that lends us several facts about the fall of Troy. To me there is just something about the myth of Troy that fascinates me. Whether it's the demi-god warrior or the divinely inspired prince who fires a shot heard around the ancient world. All of the mythical elements just add a little something extra to the story of Troy. I really enjoyed the imagery provided by the scenes where the gods are lounging about watching Trojan cloud television.
The one thing that I didn't really like about this book was the way in which certain events were glossed over. I won't preface this with a spoiler since I feel anyone who knows anything about Troy knows Achilles and Hector both die before the war is over. The deaths of these two Goliaths was never given the attention and detail you would think a novel of Troy would dedicate to such events. Instead it was just briefly mentioned. "Oh by the way, Hector and Achilles are both dead. Moving on." Again, as I mentioned before, I understand this novel was meant to be from the perspective of the women, not the warriors. I just felt like these deaths would have had a greater impact on the women featured. Especially when one considers the Briseis/Achilles relationship.
That aside, by the end of this novel, I was ugly crying. The manner in which the novel ended combined with the reality that there was no more to read did me in. Without spoiling too much, I have to admit the ugly cry might have had more to do with one of the final scenes plus Adele belting out "Hello" in the background. I look forward to continuing with this trilogy. This might even be one of the rare occasions where I pre-order the next book available in June.
I know it's still kind of early but this book is already on my list of best books of 2017.