What drew me to this book was the retelling of The Iliad (or some of it). Not a period I’ve ever read but a bit of classic Greek storytelling, what is there to not like!
The point is this story is the focus on Patroclus and Achilles and their relationship through childhood to young adults then to Troy. All the characters are well defined but I imagine the source material has much of that covered already and it’s for the author to follow through.
I enjoyed the writing very much, the style seemed suited to the subject and period, easy to read and well paced. The battle scenes are well written and you really get the sense of Achilles mastery of battle. The author clearly loves and has deep knowledge of the period and delivers reasonably well.
But ... the fact is the first half of this book is pure romantic fiction. In truth I found this a fairly tough time, dewy eyed RF is not for me and I nearly bailed on the book a couple of times. Interestingly nothing ‘sexual’ occurs until Achilles turns sixteen, how very politically correct and staying within the bounds of ‘modern’ decency.
I could have given this four stars but I have to call out the RF element, yes the relationship between the two main characters has to be establish but the sickly sweet, rose tinted spectacled approach was far too ‘Mills and Boon’ but the author came good with the action later and in spades.
Makes me want to read The Iliad now.
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 5 September 2011.
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