“How strange is our mortal zest for fame. Perhaps it is the only way humans can be gods. We achieve immortality not through ambrosia and ichor but through history and reputation. Through statues and epic song.”
Published in 2020 and the third book in Stephen Fry‘s Great Mythology series, Troy tells the story of the classic Greek myth centred around the Trojan war. The kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against the city of Troy, to which they will lay siege for ten whole years. It is a terrible war with casualties on all sides as well as strained relations between allies, whose consequences become tragedies.
Another brilliantly original and memorable retelling of the most well-known tale in Greek mythology, Troy is an exceptionally detailed and charismatic story told with the intelligence and charm of a passionate storyteller.
I’ve read a lot of retellings about the Trojan war, including another one earlier this month, so I’m already very familiar with the story. So while this book didn’t add much in the way of what I already know about these events, what Fry does so brilliantly is add a unique personality to the characters.
You may know who Achilles is and what Paris did to lead to an all-out war, but I love how Fry uses his intellect and wit to give every character a unique twist on their personality, ensuring that this newfound knowledge will stick in your head.
And unlike the popular female retellings, which are some of my favourite books, Fry doesn’t pick a side or have an agenda, and instead gives a complete picture that sees the story from all sides so that you can really get to grips with the basics.
I always recommend Fry’s books as the best place to start if you’re looking to get into Greek mythology as he makes the stories really easy to follow and every character very memorable. So if you’re looking for a place to start, Fry’s trilogy will tell you everything you need to know!
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