Troy: Shield of Thunder

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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Though I liked Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow I found the second book in the trilogy, Troy: Shield of Thunder even more enjoyable, not least for the wider cast.

When it opened with Kalliades and Banokles I feared the story would drag, but by the end of the book, Banokles was one of my favourite characters.

Also very much enjoyed the characterisations of of Kassandra and Queen Halaysia, and the development of the Odysseus-Helikaon storyline.

What especially struck me about this book was the point made, when Mykene and Troy finally came to open blows, that people on both sides knew one another - friends forced to see one another as enemies on different sides, and enemies forced to view each other as friends for being on the same side. This is something many stories about conflict never do - humanise the enemy.

Of course, we then get Gemmell's wonderful contradiction - praise for the heroic, yet cynicism of war.

Am still surprised that Diomedes hasn't been found to have survived in secret - he was my favourite character in The Iliad. Alas, it looks as though we won't.
 

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