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Starred Review. Bestseller Gemmell (Legend) boldly recasts the Trojan War in this first of a new trilogy, which centers on a warrior variously called Helikaon, Aeneas or the Golden One, who's blessed by luck to have all he turns his hand to prosper. Populated by compelling and finely drawn characters taken from either Greek mythology (Odysseus, Hektor, etc.) or the author's own fertile imagination, the novel lays the groundwork for the war to come. Spurred by prophecy, Agamemnon, King of Mykene, sets his men the task of killing Aeneas. The ensuing conflict threatens to engulf the Mediterranean. While this enchanting tale is more historical fiction than fantasy (the obligatory oracles and Kassandra's prophecies are the only hints of magic), genre fans and more general readers alike will have trouble putting it down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This hefty historical fantasy opens a trilogy dealing with the Trojan War but without the usual number of variations on the theme readers have come to expect from prolific and popular fantasist Gemmell. The title character is Aeneas, not outwardly the Trojan hero, however, but a Trojan ally using the name Helikaon. He and the Greek Odysseus are on terms of mutual respect, and he is also in love with Andromache, the betrothed of Hector, Troy's greatest warrior. When relations between Troy and Mycenae start deteriorating dramatically, Helikaon/Aeneas is in several kinds of dilemma. We soon learn that Gemmell's isn't the Homeric scenario of the Iliad, however, because this book's Hector doesn't survive the battles of this preliminary book, and those occur before Agamemnon sets sail for Troy. Gemmell is a master of fast pacing and original, not to say offbeat, takes on legendary and mythical characters. The alternate Iliad he launches here does honor to his reputation and promises to lift it higher while adding notably to readers' pleasure. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.