Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

March 2012 Feature of the Month: Trojan War Month

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
User avatar
Nefret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 2009
Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
Location: Temple of Isis

Post by Nefret » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 6:07 pm

I've been wanting to find Lindsay Clarke's books.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

User avatar
lauragill
Avid Reader
Posts: 352
Joined: July 2011
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Post by lauragill » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 8:49 pm

[quote=""Nefret""]I've been wanting to find Lindsay Clarke's books.[/quote]

I got The War At Troy just last year as a used hardback and at a very reasonable price through Amazon. The Return From Troy was much easier to find as new paperback.

User avatar
Nefret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 2009
Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
Location: Temple of Isis

Post by Nefret » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 9:06 pm

Oh, found and ordered.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

User avatar
The Czar
Reader
Posts: 137
Joined: May 2011
Location: Nashville TN

Post by The Czar » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 9:36 pm

I would also recommend Helen of Troy, by Margaret George.

And the OP was perhaps too modest to recommend her own works, but Orestes: The Young Lion and Orestes: Outcast, both by Laura Gill are excellent, although they are set AFTER the war, obviously.

Laura, I was wondering, after reading Outcast... Could you recommend a good, readable book on Greek Mythology and how they observed their religion? Most of my knowledge of the subject comes from a children's edition I read many years ago. I also read Edith Hamilton's book back in high school, or at least parts of it.

Thanks!
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
_______________________________________________
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 10:59 pm

[quote=""Nefret""]I've been wanting to find Lindsay Clarke's books.[/quote]

They're both pretty good. I preferred the second, but it doesn't make much sense to read it by itself.

User avatar
lauragill
Avid Reader
Posts: 352
Joined: July 2011
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Post by lauragill » Sun March 4th, 2012, 1:26 am

[quote=""The Czar""]I would also recommend Helen of Troy, by Margaret George.

And the OP was perhaps too modest to recommend her own works, but Orestes: The Young Lion and Orestes: Outcast, both by Laura Gill are excellent, although they are set AFTER the war, obviously.

Laura, I was wondering, after reading Outcast... Could you recommend a good, readable book on Greek Mythology and how they observed their religion? Most of my knowledge of the subject comes from a children's edition I read many years ago. I also read Edith Hamilton's book back in high school, or at least parts of it.

Thanks![/quote]

Edith Hamilton is first-rate for the myths themselves. As for the religion, perhaps someone else could help? I know there are titles on the religion of Classical Greece, and the many different aspects of it, from the obsession on pollution to other things.

If it's the Mycenaean period you're interested in, archaeologists aren't really sure. For my books, I had to reconstruct the religion from archaeology and from Homer's descriptions, since they probably preserve genuine bardic memories of those rites; a lot of dead cows were involved. ;)

Many familiar Greek gods are mentioned on Linear B tablets: Zeus (Di-wi-o), Hera (E-ra), Athena (A-ta-na), and others. But there were also gods like Pi-pi-tu-na and others whom we don't have information about because they didn't make it through to Classical times.

User avatar
Nefret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 2009
Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
Location: Temple of Isis

Post by Nefret » Sun March 4th, 2012, 4:27 am

Does Black Ships by Jo Graham count? I didn't see it on the list.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

User avatar
lauragill
Avid Reader
Posts: 352
Joined: July 2011
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Post by lauragill » Sun March 4th, 2012, 6:03 am

[quote=""Nefret""]Does Black Ships by Jo Graham count? I didn't see it on the list.[/quote]

Darn! I knew I forgot some titles. And I liked that book, too. Graham relied heavily on Michael Wood's research for her book, and she had some truly original ideas. I only had two quibbles with it, but otherwise it was a great story with a great heroine.

I went back and added it, and another title I'd forgotten.
Last edited by lauragill on Sun March 4th, 2012, 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: update

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Sun March 4th, 2012, 3:14 pm

A few more books I can think of:
- Christa Wolf's "Cassandra" (spelling of US edition)
- Alessandro Baricco's prose retelling, "An Iliad" which I just recently read
- David Gemmell's Troy series (haven't read these but they are very popular with epic fantasy readers)
- Dan Simmons' SF duology, "Ilium" and "Olympos"
- Marguerite Yourcenar's " Fires"


I can't think of too many books other than the bible that have had such an impact on western cultures as Homer's Iliad, which makes me wonder -- outside the well known example of Rome -- how many societies have incorporated descent from characters in the Iliad in their own founding myths (e.g., didn't the Franks?).

When studying Homer's epic, we mostly focus on the marquee characters in the poem, but it is quite a job to wrap your arms around the vast array of supporting characters and piece together their own stories.

On a personal note, it seems to be popular for authors to use a mish-mash of spellings handed down to us from different sources and cultures. I do often wish when authors write about any of these ancient cultures they'd include an endnote explaining which culture they've taken the spelling from and why. This is something that drives me batty as a reader.

Finally, does anyone have a favorite scene from the Trojan War? I still think the most emotionally affecting scene in the epic is when Priam goes to Achilles to ask for Hector's body.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Thu March 8th, 2012, 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Fixed spelling of author's name

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sun March 4th, 2012, 4:46 pm

I'm just reading The Year-God's Daughter now and enjoying it- It's set in Minoan Crete around the period just before its civilization is overwhelmed by the Mycenaeans, and is a vivid evocation of ritual kingship and the clash between the matrilinear culture of the old Goddess religions and the increasingly dominant patriarchal warrior societies represented by the masculine sun gods like Poseidon.

I remember reading another novel some time ago set in Minoan Crete around the time of the great earthquake and featuring Theseus and Ariadne- it was by an Australian couple and probably never made it outside the Australasian market-
The Bull Dancers of Knossos, by Pam and John Raggatt

I'll just add

Glyn lllffe's Adventures of Odysseus series
1. King of Ithaca
2. The Gates of Troy
3. The Armour of Achilles

David Malouf's Ransom - see Ludmilla's comment- this is about Priam's visit to Achilles - a short novel but powerfully moving and beautifully done.

An old one, now OOP
Whom the Gods Would Destroy (1970), by Richard Powell
The story is narrated from the point of view of a young boy named Helios who grows up during the Trojan War.

Alice Oswald's recent Memorial, an intriguing book which reads like a roll-call of the dead.

And though they're aimed at the children's/teen market, Rosemary Sutcliff's retellings of the Iliad and the Odyssey make a good introduction to the classics and are worth having for the womderful Alan Lee illustrations alone.
Black Ships Before Troy
The Wanderings of Odysseus.
Last edited by annis on Sun March 4th, 2012, 6:30 pm, edited 15 times in total.

Locked

Return to “Feature of the Month”