The Women of Troy (Women of Troy #2) by Pat Barker

My Five Word TL:DR Review : A unique point of view

the womenof

I loved The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker.  A retelling of the fall of Troy from the perspective of Briseis who is given to Achilles as a battle prize.  I fell for this story so hard.  The writing was gorgeous, the sense of place and descriptions utterly bewitching and Briseis’ voice so easy to get along with – especially given the violence and bloodiness of the story which could have easily become dark and depressing.

To be perfectly honest I had no idea that this was to be a series and so I was madly happy when The Women of Troy popped onto my radar and to cut a long story short – this doesn’t disappoint.

This story picks up where the first left off, and for the record, I highly recommend you read the first because Briseis is such a compelling point of view.  The Greeks may have won the war but they have become marooned on the beach, unable to set sail for home due to strong winds that seem to bode ill.  Are the Gods displeased?  The Greeks certainly seem to think so and nerves within the camp start to fray with individual factions forming.  Each group hopes to place blame elsewhere and ultimately sacrifices will be called for.

Meanwhile the women of the camp seek to come to terms with their captivity and enforced enslavement as they ride the tides of anger roiling off the Greek warriors.

The Women of Troy is appropriately named as this time we spend much more time with the captive women, watching as they form attachments, sometimes watching with horror as they seem to be coming undone and ultimately hoping that their lives will calm down some.  Briseis is the key pov, Achilles may be dead but carrying his child, and married to one of his close confidantes, she shares an almost elevated position if you will – or if it’s possible to say such a thing given the horrific circumstances in the first place.  I really liked the relationships that slowly formed, and I admit I had palpitations at certain points given the actions of some of the women that Briseis was trying to help and protect.

Also in this instalment we meet Pyrrhus (Achilles’ son).  He is one of the povs along with one of the Prophets Calchas.  Pyrrhus suffers from an inferiority complex living in his father’s shadow.  He is often ashamed of his own actions although he hides this behind bluster and deceit.  He is not the nicest of characters to be honest but I couldn’t help feeling pity for him at certain points.

The absolute winning element for this book for me though was the writing.  It’s so atmospheric.  You could feel the cloying intensity of the camp, the fear, the anxiety.  You could taste the salt from the sea and hear the wind howling.  I absolutely love the writing.  To be fair, the plot itself plays second fiddle a little here.  This is a story that is small in scope and deep on emotional impact.  And it was excellent.

I don’t think I can say too much more to be fair.  There is an element of this story that may trigger certain readers so be aware of that.  The women here are taken by force but this isn’t graphic or sensational, simply part of the story of war.

If I didn’t get the message across already I loved this story.  And, I’m fairly hopeful that more will be forthcoming so happy days.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars

Wondrous Words and Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Women of Troy by Pat Barker

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Women of Troy by Pat Barker (I loved The Silence of the Girls by the same author.)

TheWomenofTroyFrom the Booker Prize-winning Pat Barker, author of The Silence of the Girls (“An important, powerful, memorable book” –Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey), a retelling of the Trojan War from the perspective of the women who endured it

Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war–including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean.

It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.

Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one-time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles’ mistress, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam’s aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge.

Expected publication : June 2021


This meme was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion Blog and has now been adopted by Elza Reads.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.

No rules just enjoy and for further info check out Elza Reads.

I’ve not made a note of any particular words this week but instead I’m taking inspiration from the title of a recent book – A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop.

This week I’m looking at collective nouns:

‘In linguistics, a collective noun is a collection of things taken as a whole. Most collective nouns in everyday speech are not specific to one kind of thing, such as the word “group”, which can be applied to people or dogs or other things. ‘

A Murder of Crows originated in the fifteenth century during which time it became popular to give ‘poetic’ collective nouns for groups of animals and birds, for example a gaggle of geese or a pride of lions.  The noun was usually a reflection of the perceived qualities of the animal/bird, etc.  Crows were associated with death.  They are scavengers and so would often congregate at the site of death, such as battlefields, and so became known as harbingers or omens of death.  Crows were also, in folklore, believed to sit in judgement of other crows, gathering together to decide the fate for one that had committed wrongs.