Homer’s Iliad, read by college underclassmen everywhere, tells the story of Helen, ‘the face that launched a thousand ships’, the trojan horse, and Achilles’ heel. The Iliad provides the basis for this modern exploration of one of the most famous legendary wars of all time, a story at least partly based in fact.
When Paris, prince of Troy, ran off with Helen, wife of the king of Sparta, it launched the greatest war of the mythic age of Greece. Heroes and gods assembled on both sides, as the combined armies of Greece launched a siege that would last for ten years. During that time, famous heroes, such as Achillies, Ajax, and Hector, would find glory on the battlefield, before being cut down by their enemies. Others, such as Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Aeneas, would survive the war, only to face even greater challenges afterwards. Thanks to the Iliad of Homer, and numerous other ancient sources, the story of the siege of Troy has survived for over 3,000 years.
When it comes to Greek mythology/history, I am eager to get the story but the thought of poring through Iliad or Odyssey makes me nauseous. It’s just too tiresome to go through such long books. But if you want the concise version, then this book is for you. Troy, written through multiple sources, tries to give a good understanding of events that lead to the second fall of Troy. It includes the mythological aspect and the historical events too – making for a rich story, which paints a gruesome picture of the war in vivid detail. Additionally, the illustrations sprinkled throughout the book enrich the appeal of the story, making it for an engaging read. Additionally, it also goes deeper into some myths – like whether Achilles was really nearly immortal or not. I found this book quite enlightening, and was pleasantly surprised that even in it’s short length (73 pages), it managed to include details and helpful information. Recommended for history buffs.