Friday, 4 January 2008

David Gemmell “Troy – The Shield of Thunder”


This is the second volume in the Troy trilogy by David Gemmell, published in 2005. I read the first (“Troy – Lord of the Silver Bow”, 2006) last year, just before I started this Book Every Six Days Blog. I now can hardly wait to start the third volume “Fall of Kings” published in 2007 and co-written with Stella Gemmell.

In the first novel we were introduced to Troy: city of gold and heroes, beloved of the gods, where wealth, privilege and rapacious greed walk hand in hand, and where the greatest of tragedies is about to unfold. Helikaon (aka Aeneas), prince of Dardania, sets sail for Troy. On board his ship, the largest in the Aegean Sea, but regarded by many as dangerously unseaworthy, is his trusted friend and sea-captain Zidantas. Also aboard are a young, impressionable youth who has never been to sea, and a deadly Mykene warrior, intent on revenge. Their journey to the fabled city will encompass storm and near shipwreck, personal tragedy and a bloody sea-battle whose bloody aftermath will haunt Helikaon and his companions for the rest of their voyage.

Helikaon also met his old friend and master-storyteller, Odysseus, and fell in love with a woman as beautiful as a goddess. But when he arrived in Troy — a city riven by the destructive rivalries of King Priam's younger sons —he found a city ready to implode, and, with nearby enemy kingdoms eyeing the city's riches, he knew a terrible war cannot be long in coming.

In this second novel, the war in Troy is looming, and all the kings of the Great Green are gathering, friends and enemies, with their own dark plans of conquest and plunder.

Into this maelstrom of treachery and deceit come three travellers — Piria, a runaway priestess nursing a terrible secret, Kalliades, a warrior with a legendary sword, and Banokles who will carve his own legend in the battles to come.

Shield of Thunder takes the reader back into the glories and tragedies of Bronze Age Greece, reuniting the characters from Lord of the Silver Bow — the dread Helikaon and his great love, the fiery Andromache, the warrior Achilles, the mighty Hektor, and the fabled storyteller, Odysseus.

Among other books of his that I have read are the stand-alone novel “Echoes of the Great Song” (1997) and the Rigante novels - 1. Sword in the Storm (1998); 2. The Midnight Falcon (1999); 3. Ravenheart (2001); 4. Stormrider (2002)

DAVID GEMMELL, born in 1948, is widely acknowledged as one of the best writers of heroic fantasy. His first novel Legend, published in 1984, began the popular Drenai Saga, and he has published thirty novels in total. Sadly, David Gemmell passed away on Friday, 28th July 2006, two weeks after heart bypass surgery He is also known as Ross Harding.

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