Book Review – Women of Troy – Pat Barker

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their vicious war. They can return home victorious, stuffed with their spoils: their pilfered gold, robbed weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to flow through their sails.

But the wind does not arrive. The gods have been insulted – the body of Priam lies sullied, unburied – and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the husk of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unforgiving sea. And, in these barren, restless days, the chain of command that held them together begins to fracture, old feuds revive and new suspicions grow.

Mostly unnoticed by her quarrelling captors, Briseis remains in the Greek encampment. She creates alliances where she can – with young, alarmingly naive Amina, with rebellious, aged Hecuba, with Calchus, the shamed priest – and begins to see the path to a kind of vengeance. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more treacherous…

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