Xanthe and Marpessa are sisters living in Troy during a time of the war. It has been ten years since the war began after Paris swept Helen away from her husband in Greece to his home in Troy, causing her husband to wage a war to return her back to him. She is able to see the gods as they walk among the humans. They speak to her and she can see their deeds.
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Xanthe and Marpessa are sisters living in Troy during a time of the war. It has been ten years since the war began after Paris swept Helen away from her husband in Greece to his home in Troy, causing her husband to wage a war to return her back to him. She is able to see the gods as they walk among the humans. They speak to her and she can see their deeds. She helps with their infant child and works in the Blood Room in her spare time.
The Blood Room is where the injured soldier are treated. On one of the occasions that she is there, Aphrodite, bored and annoyed with the lingering war, causes Xanthe to become desperately in love with one of the wounded, Alastor. Each is filled with a hopeless despair because each loves another. Aphrodite intervenes yet again with another twist of cruelty. Soon Marpessa and Alastor begin a secret love affair as the politics of Troy and Greece rage on, the war becoming bloodier and bloodier. But as the city rejoices, believing the Greeks to have gone and left a large horse statue as an offering to the Gods, the Greeks lay in wait inside the horse.
That book told the complete coming of age story of a young woman story in several different sonnets. I thought making it into a YA fiction book would be the hardest.
You have to jump in and grab the readers? The book begins with Zeus, the god of Olympus, disguised as an eagle who flys high over the city of Troy. He tires of the Trojan war with the Greeks soldiers and sets the stage for the continued boredom that most of the gods and goddesses share. The plot focuses on several women of Troy, and they range from powerful rich maidens to the servant girls who live in the town.
The women all suffer in emotional ways with the decade long war at the center of their pain. Andromache is Hectors wife and mother to Astynax whom Xanthe cares for like her own child. Marpessa "sees" the gods meaning when they come to visit only she and a few select others can see them.
The story picks up steam when Eros hits Xanthe with a silver-blue arrow, while she is working in the Blood room. The Blood Room is a place where the fallen soldiers are taken to be nursed back to health. Xanthe falls in love with Alastor, who then impregnates Marpessa all because of the desire of Aphrodite, who longs for any entertainment other than the war. Polyxena, a friend of the two sisters , is hopelessly in love with Iason who is hell bent on being with Xanthe.
All of these love affairs have one thing in common. They are about to be thrown into a tail loop towards the end of the war.
In another subplots, Andromache rues the day her husband Hector is slain on the battlefield. She blames his younger brother Paris for the war because he is said to have stolen Helen from her husband the Greek king.
She convinces herself that not only Helen is a trollop but that her ultimate goal is to bed Hector himself. Intertwined in these complex love triangles are visits from the gods themselves. Artemis, Mars, Poseidon, Ares, and Pallas Athene appear in visions to reveal their plans to the characters- and to the reader-but each person they visit does not remember the conversation shortly after it happens.
They serve as the Greek chorus and converse among themselves with how lazy Helen is or how estranged from her family Andromache is. Eventually the story winds down with the inevitable wooden horse and sack of Troy. So you know the story right?
Now why should you read this reworked view of the Trojan war? Geras shines as a storyteller and multi subplot manager. She carefully scripts each plot to tell the inner feelings of the Trojan woman. The reader knows how the story ends the rape and pillage of Troy but what keeps him reading is the interest in the characters dreams and ultimate futures. I continued reading because I wanted to see how Aphrodite excused her ill fated attempts at bringing passion to the servants lives.
I read because I wanted to find out the how Andromache handles both tragedies that befall her. I kept reading because Geras has scripted a damn fine book. Ideally everyone should read this book but advances YA readers and Adults themselves will have a better appreciation of the book. The book is told from the viewpoint of the people of Troy, which is something you don?
Several parts of the book are violent especially the details of the sack of Troy. There are no detailed sexual situations except of course for Paris leering at all of the servants and Marpessa meeting Alastor in the woods. However, there are some situations where its obvious the characters are about to have sex but Geras refrains from glorifying the actual act. Marpessa contemplates having an abortion when she discovers she is pregnant which is something parents may have to decide if that?
Geras major strengths are her character development as several of the characters take a surprising turn at the end of the book. For example I thought I knew how the Helen character was going to be portrayed but Geras surprised me. The realism of the tale is enchanting and I marveled at the way Geras wove raw human emotions of lust, friendship, love, hopes, dreams, and utter despair.
I thought this book was a bit too advanced for a 13 year old and later on my cousin confirmed it. She thought the book was too boring sounding in the library and decided not to check it out.
0152045708 - Troy by Adèle Geras
Soldiers go out to war every morning, leaving behind widows and orphans; women spend the day in terror, wondering whether their husbands, sons and brothers will come back or not. Food is scarce, thanks to the siege and money is spent endlessly on the war, on the weapons and food for the horses. Anything that is moving is cooked and served on the table. Even the palace can not afford much luxury. And in the middle of all this sadness are two sisters, Xanthe and Marpessa.
Troy Book Summary and Study Guide