Troy: Fall of Kings

Written by David Gemmell Stella Gemmell

A merciless war of attrition has reduced golden Troy to a city of starvation and scavengers. While Hektor, greatest of heroes, and Helikaon the Golden One remain alive the Trojans will not surrender. The besieging Mykene and their allies cling to their tattered honour, eyeing one another in mistrust and growing detestation, forced to admit that only trickery will give them victory. On Thera, Island of Women, Kassandra waits, tormented by foresight. Andromache, Hektor’s wife, makes her choice; she will remain with him and her son Astanyax while Helikaon, love of her life and most cunning of sea captains, creates havoc amongst the enemy in his beloved ship Xanthos. Odysseus of Ithaca, clever and persuasive reluctant ally of the Mykene, has obtained safe conduct for non-combatant Trojans to depart by sea to the only place of true safety: the little colony already established at the place called The Seven Hills.

The authors have had the confidence to abandon one of the Iliad’s most famous and moving scenes—the fight to the death between Hektor and Achilles—instead replacing the combat and its aftermath with their own startlingly original version. Warriors with their beautiful and deadly weapons of bronze create the bloodiest set piece battle scenes I can recall, impacting on all the senses. The inglorious part played by the Trojan Horse provides almost a light relief to the dreadful tragedy.

Fall of Kings is an audacious and brilliant re-creation of one of the world’s greatest stories with climax and finale of apocalyptic magnitude.