This is easily one of my favourite books, ever. Malouf's re-telling of one of the most poignant points of the Iliad was realistic and thoughtful.
This book was just not my cup of tea. This retelling or re-imagining of such a small portion of the story of Troy, no matter how elegantly written, was just not enough of a narrative for me.
Instead of tackling the entire Trojan War, Malouf focuses on a single episode, namely Achilles' refusal to surrender the body of Hector. It's a gem.
The warrior Achilles reflects on the path that has led him to the Trojan war, this is a very different approach to a character who was most characterized by pride, battle prowess and rage. Instead he is grief stricken figure, and trapped by his anger, wishes for a way to end it; this is a person whom readers can sympathize with, and whom Priam comes to plead with. Priam too has been given great depth, for it is not as a king that he acts but for himself. He too looks inward for he considers what it is to be royalty, and what it is to be an ordinary man. Both characters have been given new depths which make this a neat addition to the Trojan tale. Also, the author has clearly done his research on ancient Greece
An expansion on part of the Trojan War story about how Hector's father, the king of Troy, negotiates with Achilles for the return of his son's body. For a brief moment the carnage of the war in interrupted by a father-to-father exchange. While not much happens, it is a beautifully told story.
This is a short lyrical novel by an award-winning Australian author about the Trojan war and a face to face meeting between Priam, king of Troy, and Achilles, Greek champion and killer of Hector, Priam's son. Malouf's attention to small details humanizes and makes real a story from another time and culture.
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