Title: A Song of War: A Novel of Troy
Author: Kate Quinn, Christian Cameron, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield, S.J.A. Turney, Libbie Hawker, and Stephanie Thornton
Publisher: Knight Media, LLC
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Troy: city of gold,
gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city
destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the
Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy's gates, all must
be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens,
heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.
A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.
A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.
A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.
A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.
A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.
A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.
A goddess' son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood."
My Two Cents:
"A Song of War" is a new book by the H team, authors of "A Day of Fire" and "A Year of Ravens." As with the other books, this book features a slightly different set of authors, all well qualified to take readers on a journey to the past. This book focuses on Troy. The ancient world is still a subject that is really new for me as far as reading topics go. The Trojan War is one of those subjects where I just haven't read a whole lot about. I know the basics: the gorgeous Helen of Troy, the horse, and how long it took for Troy to finally fall. I knew I was in good hands with these authors to shed a little more light on things for me.
First off, I really liked how this book was able to focus on so many different facets of the war. You have all of the big personalities. You have the hubris of so many of the characters playing into getting them into trouble (isn't that always the way thought?). You have the difference in opinion as to where things should go in the future. You have the fighting itself. There is a lot to like by different people in this book. Yeah, there is battles but I was impressed with how these authors were able to give a human face to what the war actually meant and how it impacted so many people and the futures of so many different groups.
Characters are huge with this group. The ancient world did seem to have a male-driven focus but what was so surprising to me in this book is that the females definitely drive the action as well. In the very first story of the book, we meet Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships. She basically comes to Troy willingly, everyone else be damned. Again, my knowledge of the Trojan War is lacking but it always seemed to me like Helen was taken against her will so I loved the spin of her just kind of pooh, poohing her husband and his family and not caring that she may have just started a war. I just wanted to shake her and ask her if she knew how much trouble she was going to cause! Her cavalier attitude definitely made her a character that I loved to hate.
Although there are some great male characters in the book, they were much more familiar to me than the women and I loved getting insight into the women of the time. Their roles usually could not be as forward as the men but they are able to yield their power in some really great ways throughout the book as it goes on that made for a really good read. There is Cassandra, who was the twin of Hellenus. She was a priestess that her family pretty much seemed ashamed of so they lock her away. She is fascinating because the reader is forced to confront whether or not she is mad or if she may be the smartest of the bunch. She is fascinating to me. I really enjoyed reading the sections of the book where she appeared. There is Penthislea, an Amazon warrior. After meeting her in the first part of the book, I was thrilled that she got her own section. I can't recall reading any historical fiction about the Amazon warriors so I loved learning a little more about them throughout the book.
Now as much as I loved the characters, I loved that the book was driven by action as well. This book is incredibly fast past and a great ride. The personalities and the writing styles are different from writer to writer and story to story and this really led to the book feeling like it was very well-rounded. I love how this group of authors have been able to tackle subjects that often still seem like they are off the beaten path for historical fiction! This is a great ride!