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Review | The Women Of Troy

By Pat Barker

Published : 26th August 2021

Publisher : Penguin Random House

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback, Paperback

Genre : Greek Mythology

Review 42/2021

{ ๐š๐: ๐ฉ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ / ๐ ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ซ๐œ }

* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


Troy has fallen.

The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors - all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo - camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.

The women of Troy.

Helen - poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace - and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.

Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.

Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.

Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.

And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.

My Review

We laid the wreath on the slab, and stood for a moment with our heads bowed. I'm not sure I managed to pray, but I did remember her: the wide apart eyes, the straight shoulders, that absolute refusal to bend.

The Trojan Women, slaves to the Greek soldiers.

The story opens within the Trojan Horse, soldiers crammed in together worrying about whether they will be discovered & massacred or will remain hidden & successfully open the city gates to allow the army inโ€ฆ.

Following on from The Silence Of The Girls, The Greeks have won the ten year war over Troy.

The city lyes in ruins and the towers continue to burn.

Yet the warriors can not leave.

The winds have risen and no ships can sail. Achilles son, Pyrrhus, the victor of the war for killed King Prium has offended the gods by desecrating his body and refusing his burial.

Briseis, now married to Achilles friend after he died in the war, is carrying Achilles child & living comfortably enough because of this. Unwillingly becoming someone the women can all turn to, she tries to help where she can but she soon finds herself in danger in the attempt to keep them all safe.

This story is told again from three narratives:

Briseis chapters are told from within the camp & the daily dance all the women have to do just to survive.

Pyrrhus joins in within the giant Trojan wooden horse that is being pulled into the gates of Troy, totally unaware that it is full of soldiers & then Calchus, a man of god who has the pressure of foretelling why the winds wonโ€™t stop and what god they need to appease in order to get home.

Briseis is a clever woman. She uses her unborn child to her advantage & even avoids death after being caught trying to bury Priams body with another woman by the unforgiving Pyrrhus.

Yet when we read from Pyrrhusโ€™s perspective we actually see that he is just a sixteen year old boy, made into a man by war and desperate to be the man his father was and to step out of his shadow.

Why I Loved It

I absolutely loved this second instalment.

I would highly recommend reading one straight after the other like I did, this allows the stories to flow seamlessly into one another.

The characters, again were beautifully written and you are left with the feeling of a female togetherness, despite everything that they have gone through and willow face for the rest of their lives as Trojan slaves to Greek men.

Thank you @penguinrandomhouse for this stunning copy โœจ

If you love Greek Mythology, then this story is a must.




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Meet the author

Pat Barker was born in Yorkshire and began her literary career in her forties, when she took a short writing course taught by Angela Carter.

Encouraged by Carter to continue writing, she sent her fiction out. She has now published sixteen novels, including her masterful Regeneration Trilogy, been made a CBE for services to literature, and won the UK's highest literary honour, the Booker Prize.

Her last novel, The Silence of the Girls, began the story of Briseis, the forgotten woman at the heart of one of the most famous war epics ever told. It was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize, and won an Independent Bookshop Award 2019. The Women of Troy continues that story. Pat Barker lives in Durham.


Books by this author

The Silence Of The Girls - book one -

The Regeneration Trilogy

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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