Thursday Book Review: “The Oracles of Troy”

Today’s featured book is Mereo Books‘s The Oracles of Troy by Glyn Iliffe!
At the bottom of this post, you’ll find the full book description and a link to purchase this title.

Originally published on The Jitty by Rajiv Daxini.

Glyn Iliffe’s stunning series of works begins by introducing us to Odysseus and the formation of an oath of friendship between he and the fictional character of Eperitus. The series has seen the friendship endure the tidings of war and the introduction of the infamous Troy in The Gates of Troy, and eventually the incredible tenth year of the Trojan War in all its blood and honour in The Armour of Achilles. In the latest installment Glyn Iliffe continues to tell the tales of his masterpiece in The Oracles of Troy. This book starts right where The Armour of Achilles ends, so there’s no messing around before you’re full in on the action again. This is of course important, with the preceding novels as good as they were, there’s a lot of expectancy with this one.

So far Hector, the heartbeat of the Trojan army, was slain by Achilles, the near-invincible powerhouse Myrmidon, who then perished at the hands of Paris who was aided by the god Apollo. The third great warrior to lose his life was Ajax and now, with the brawn gone, it has been left to the brains to breach the walls of Troy built by the gods Poseidon and Apollo themselves. Having already been introduced to the cunning and sheer genius of the most clever man in Greece — Odysseus — the sights of victory for the Greeks rests on him. Yet the outcome of such a significant period of history would never be left to the will of mere mortals, and it is the gods who must decide how the war will end. The immortals were a part of the Greeks’ lives as was eating and sleeping, and what’s important is that Iliffe doesn’t undermine their significance in his novels, which makes them all the more realistic in terms of accounting the Trojan War.

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The King of Ithaca and The Gates of Troy focus on adventures and smaller battles, and The Armour of Achilles tells the tale of the Trojan War. However, The Oracles of Troy satisfies any readers hunger by combining both. By missing no detail from the escapades of Odysseus and his comrades in fulfilling the oracles; from navigating through a cursed underground maze-tomb of the legendary Pelops, to using his incredible God-given skills of persuasion to enlist Neoptelemus (the son of Achilles) into the army, Iliffe draws you into the adventure with the Greeks. Then by accounting final battles in all their glory, each description creates a vivid image of the events, giving you a god-like feel and presence over the matter as if watching from above. But on occasion, drawing you into the field. An example being your inevitable excitement when the Trojan army fears that the greatest warrior ever born has risen from the dead to fight for the Greeks again…

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An interesting aspect of Iliffe’s books which I find differs from other novels, is that he doesn’t always let you in on all of the secrets before they happen. Whereas some books leave you screaming inside at a character for doing something wrong unknowingly, when the author has given you the information to make you wiser. As just one small example in The Oracles of Troy, we don’t know who the disguised beggar really is (honestly, you’d never guess), so we’re as confused as the characters when the events unfold. This small twist has the unique effect of making it you able to relate with the characters better because you can feel what they would really be feeling. This ties in well with Iliffe’s incredible ability to build characters so you feel like you know them. Iliffe does tend to drop small clues, but not always obviously, and I find this also works well as it will leave you in eager anticipation turning every page.

Finally, you might be thinking about the film Troy… if you enjoyed it, then you’ll love this. If you haven’t yet seen it, then don’t bother, because you’ve got this.


The Oracles of Troy
9781861512116Achilles and Ajax are dead and the hope of the Greeks has died with them, leaving the army restless for their homes and threatening rebellion. Then a series of oracles appears, utterances from the gods that must be fulfilled if Troy is to be defeated and the war brought to an end. Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks, knows that only one man has the courage and intelligence to complete the tasks set by the Olympians: Odysseus, king of Ithaca. From an island haunted by a vengeful madman to a forsaken tomb and its deadly guardian, from the palace of a hostile king to the sacred heart of Troy itself, Odysseus and his friend Eperitus must follow the trail toward the greatest deception of all time. The Trojan horse.
Buy it here $14.95 


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