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The legend of The Iliad retold from the perspective of a woman: queen turned war prize, witness to history.

The great city of Troy is under siege as Greek heroes Achilles and Agamemnon wage bloody war over a stolen woman. In the Greek camp, another woman is watching and waiting: Briseis. She was a queen of this land until Achilles sacked her city and murdered her husband and sons. Now she is Achilles' concubine: a prize of battle.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women backstage in this war - the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead - all of them voiceless in history. But, though no one knows it yet, they are just ten weeks away from the death of Achilles and the Fall of Troy, an end to this long and bitter conflict. Briseis will see it all - and she will bear witness.

Reviews

Magnificent

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Toby's Room

Gripping . . . never less than compulsively readable

Margaret Forster on Another World

An extraordinary tour de force

Jonathan Coe on The Ghost Road

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780241338070

    September 15, 2018

    Hamish Hamilton

    RRP $55.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9780241338094

    September 3, 2018

    Hamish Hamilton

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • The Silence of the Girls
    Pat Barker

    EBook

    9780241983218

    August 30, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

Extract

I

Great Achilles. Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles, godlike Achilles . . . How the epithets pile up. We never called him any of those things; we called him ‘the butcher’.

Swift-footed Achilles. Now there’s an interesting one. More than anything else, more than brilliance, more than greatness, his speed defined him. There’s a story that he once chased the god Apollo all over the plains of Troy. Cornered at last, Apollo is supposed to have said: ‘You can’t kill me, I’m immortal.’ ‘Ah, yes,’ Achilles replied. ‘But we both know if you weren’t immortal, you’d be dead.’

Nobody was ever allowed the last word; not even a god.

I heard him before I saw him: his battle cry ringing round the walls of Lyrnessus.

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