David Gemmell is one of favourite authors – if not my all-time favourite; he’s the one who hooked me and truly began my journey into the Fantasy genre. This series is a trilogy of historical Fantasy about the Trojan War and it’s spectacular. I was a bit anxious at first when I bought them because 1) I have a love for Greek myths and this is perhaps my favourite, 2) the two last books have been published posthumously and to read these books, knowing that these were literally the last books he ever wrote, would be hard and 3) because the third book was finished by his wife Stella Gemmell, of whom I haven’t read any book, yet. (Though I’m planning on purchasing The City)
The trilogy consists of the following three books:
- Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow
- Troy: Shield of Thunder
- Troy: Fall of Kings (with Stella Gemmell)
Plot: David Gemmell offers Fantasy readers and mythology buffs alike an amazing re-imagining of the Trojan War, the events that led up to it and what came after. Be prepared to meet the characters you know and love – or love to hate as people like Agamemnon, Achilles, Hektor, Priam, Paris, Helen, Andromache and Odysseus, and to enjoy the interactions and actions of new ones like Helikaon, Xander, Gershom, Argurious, Banokles and Kalliades. All have a part to play, but not all will survive.
As much as I loved the original Greek myth about the Trojan War, I love Gemmell’s version more. There is just something about his writing, the ‘Gemmell Factor’, that makes his work so good! The depth he puts into his characters, the honour, the greatness. He crafts heroes like no other, and makes sure they’re not infallible either.
The things he removed and added to the story only serve to enrich it and the things he changes, he changes for the better. To read about the people I associate with the myth while also reading about those he made up and never ever feeling that these characters don’t belong or aren’t well fleshed out: that is the trademark of a great writer. An amazing writer. Gemmell really wrote an epoch.
I really can’t say much about the story in general, for fear of spoiling it for others but I can tell you that near the end of book three, there will be a bit of a ‘revelation’ about the true nature of a certain friend of Helikaon that surprised me. Gemmell knows how to weave myth, religion and history together and spice it up with his fantastical elements. When you read it, a light bulb will go on in your head. That’s all I’m willing to say.
If someone would ask me which of Gemmell’s books I would recommend for one not familiar with his work, my first instinct would be to say “all of them”. But if I had to choose a few, this trilogy would be on top of the list, followed by Druss the Legend, Echoes of the Great Song, Waylander and probably White Wolf – to begin with.