The Gates of Troy
Upon reading the back blurb, my husband quipped, “Another book about that guy.” Here comes Wise Odysseus again, this time in the lead-up to the Trojan War. In this novel, he is provided with a fictional sidekick who will provide an outside point of view, the warrior Eperitus, who has been itching for a fight ever since he came to Ithaca with the king ten years ago.
Iliffe knows the old story and characters well, and the famous scenes – Odysseus pretending to be mad as he sows a field with salt, the flight of Helen and Paris, the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her power-mad father, even the manifestations of various Olympians – are all included. Having cut my teeth on Mary Renault, my standards for retellings of classic myth are high, but the author does a credible job. Setting and scene are beautifully presented and always evoke period and place. As expected, there is plenty of swordplay, wrestling, and plain, old bare-knuckle fighting. My only complaint is that occasionally I was knocked out of the story by modern language, e.g. “Forget Priam!” This novel is part of a series, The Adventures of Odysseus, so if you find it to your taste, the others should be also.