Troy by Adele Geras

TroyThis is a cool retelling of the Illiad from the teen’s point of view. Xanthe and Marpessa are sister servants in the palace of Hector, ruler of Troy. Xanthe is nanny to Hector and Andromache’s royal baby, and Marpessa is beautiful Helen’s (“the face that sailed a thousand ships”) personal assistant. Xanthe also works in the “Blood Room,” the place where all the Trojan soliders are brought when they’re wounded. It’s there that Xanthe falls for hottie solider Alastar as he recovers from battle. Gods and goddesses also drift through the story, usually causing trouble. Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, sees Xanthe mooning over Alastar, and, because she’s bored with all the war stuff, decides to make both Xanthe and Marpessa fall for Alastar, but make him love only Marpessa. Meanwhile, the crippled stablehand who both sisters are friends with only has eyes for Xanthe, but she can only see Alastar. And least you think this sounds too romantical, outside the sieged city walls, the Trojan war between the Trojans and the Greeks over Helen’s “kidnapping” (she actually went willingly from her Greek husband so that she could knock the boots with Paris, the gorgeous, although shallow Trojan warrior) continues, with Greek warrior Achilles is slaying people left and right while the god of war, Ares, strides up and down the battlefield, admiring his handiwork. Sexy, bloody, and just downright absorbing, you don’t need to read the original Illiad to understand this hip interpretation. (Trust me, I never read the Illiad, either!)<

One thought on “Troy by Adele Geras

  1. Not to mention that Xanthe’s best friend, Polyxena, I think her name is, is in love with the stable boy who is in love with Xanthe who is in love with Alastor who is in love with Marpessa..forget love triangle, this is a love chain.

    Also, have you read Ithaka, also by Geras? This one is told from a 12 year old’s perspective (but just at the beginning, it ends when she’s about 19) who is a handmaiden to Penelope, the wife of Odyseus. Instead of focusing on Odyseus’s journey back from Troy (although that is woven into the story – literally, now that I consider my word choice), it is about life back on the island, telling of Penelope’s incredible longing, her son (a hottie?), Telemachus’s friendship with Kylmene, the handmaiden to Penelope, and the suitors who invade the palace on Ithaka. I loved it, though Kylmene got terribly annoying in the middle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *