My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you have ever read Homer’s Iliad, this book will seem really familiar to you. If you haven’t, you’ll never know that this is basically a retelling of Homer’s great epic. The difference between Homer and Clarke, though, is that you’ll find Clarke much easier to read if you found Homer impossible.
I’ve read Homer’s version and loved it. I’m a fan of the Greek myths and tragedies. I can say with all honesty that Clarke’s version of the story of Troy is wonderfully written, but some might take issue with it if they are more particular about details. This is a fiction book, not a historical account. For anyone familiar with archaeology and history, please keep that in mind as you read this tale. It makes it much more enjoyable.
As for how faithful it is to the Iliad, Clarke used several reliable sources and account for his version of the retelling. Armed with these sources, Clarke writes a compelling novel in modern day English that everyone should find enjoyable and easy to read.
As a side note: I’ve yet to even look for confirmation of this, but several people have told me that the war of Troy didn’t happen because Troy doesn’t exist. Whether you are a proponent for this or not, you’ll still find this book an enjoyable work of fiction that is part of our cultural heritage, part history, and a lot of fun to read. You probably won’t even realise you’re learning about our past all the while.