Troy: Fall of Kings

Written by David Gemmell Stella Gemmell
Review by Nancy Henshaw

David Gemmell’s untimely death in 2006 robbed the world of a master storyteller. His wife’s involvement in the Troy trilogy was unknown to me, but through this collaboration we now have the final part, Fall of Kings.

Troy: the word evokes valour and heroism, beautiful women and legendary heroes, names that echo down the centuries with the story of its fall. Gemmell, however, has his own thoughts on the world they inhabited, which differs from the accepted source of Homer and makes interesting reading.

Agamemnon, King of Mykene, is now gathering his forces together to declare war on Priam, King of Troy, who has maintained peace in the Mediterranean for the past forty years. Helen’s abduction by Paris is used as an excuse for the hostilities, but the reasons are more prosaic: Mykene covets the golden treasury of Troy. Before the end of the battles, and beneath the walls of that city, Hektor and Achilles will destroy each other and Odysseus will reluctantly ally himself to the Greeks. The volcanic explosion on Thera will release the biblical plagues of Egypt, and Aeneas will survive to become the founder of Rome.

His interpretation of the Trojan Horse is imaginative; the clues are there all through the book. The scenes become repetitive, with the same ground being fought over, and fill too many pages. However, the novel is filled with authenticity and is superbly crafted. As David Gemmell’s last stand, Fall of Kings is a very fitting tribute.