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Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow (Troy) by David Gemmell
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Del Rey Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0345458354
Date: 27 September, 2005 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Protected by his mother, Helikaon withdraws from life when she dies. The arrival of the notorious liar and story teller Odysseus is the turning point for this frightened youth. Learning the ways of the sea traveling with Odysseus, Helikaon matures and becomes known and feared throughout the Aegean.

As the story begins we see the first attempt on Helikaon's life. Agamemnon hopes to kill Helikaon and weaken the kingdoms allied with Troy. When this attempt and subsequent attempts fail but cost the life of close companions, Helikaon begins a quest to punish the pirates backed by Agamemnon. As he travels the sea he is drawn to Andromache, the betrothed of Hector. With Hector missing after a battle against the Egyptians, Helikaon and Andromache become closer and love develops.

The climax of the story comes with the first attack on Troy by the forces of Agamemnon. The battle will see friends and foes work together and friends fight on opposite sides. Lovers are parted and brought together. By the conclusion of the attack the seeds are sown for the most famous siege in history.

This is a new take on the ancient world. Heroes and villains are not so different, and what we thought we knew may not be all there is to know. This is an enjoyable tale overall. I admit to a few problems getting used to Aeneas as Helikaon, even though the reasons were explained. It is similar to the problem that comes when spellings of names changes depending on the author, the classic being Hercules being Herakles.

Although talked about, no gods make an appearance in this story. This helps to create the feeling of reality. Although events may be attributed to the gods, there is no truly miraculous occurrence that can be attributed to divine intervention. They may be called upon, but they are not present. This approach will make the later tales, especially interesting if the events of the Iliad are told in later books.

I have enjoyed all of the books that I have read by David Gemmell and this is no exception. He does a great job in creating a story that draws you in to it. Here we see the aggressive nature that helped to create a ten-year siege. I look forward to seeing the next book in this series. Although I am unsure what the basic storyline will be, I expect that the love of Paris and Helen will be developed as we move towards the Trojan War. It is also likely that there may be more learned of Achilles.

I recommend this book. Take the voyage over the wine dark seas and get lost in a time where heroes and villains are folded into the same flesh. Here the stories of Odysseus as he would tell them, and see the parts of a tale that will become the Odyssey.

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