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Troy [Paperback]

Adele Geras
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Aug 2006
Who can resist a goddess? The most famous war in history is brought to life through the eyes of two sisters. Marpessa is gifted with God-sight, Xanthe has the healing touch. But then Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, decides to play with their hearts ... and contrives for them to fall in loe with the same young warrior.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Point; 3rd edition (7 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439950953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439950954
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been writing books for children since 1976 and have published more than 90 books for readers of all ages from babies to teenagers. In 2003, my first adult novel was published (FACING THE LIGHT) and I've written three others, all published by Orion.
I've also published poetry and have reviewed for the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement

Product Description

Amazon Review

Some familiar subjects--especially historical ones such as the sacking of Troy--are these days rarely tackled for fear of the inevitable repetition of other works involved and potential accusations of unoriginality on the author's part. So what more could another retelling of this well-trodden tale of Ancient Greece, interfering gods, vulnerable mortals, war, bloodshed and a wooden horse contribute to the canon of literature worth reading?

Well, in the case of Troy by Adèle Geras, quite a lot, actually.

And it is, perhaps, because Geras is such a veteran of literature worth reading that she has managed this feat in a manner so refreshingly original and consummately believable. Geras approaches the stuff of legend in much the way that Kevin Crossley-Holland does in his book of Arthur, The Seeing Stone, by telling a big story in short chapters through the eyes of smaller people--in this case, principally, two young sisters in the royal households of Troy called Xanthe and Marpessa. As love triangles unfold, as the war rages to its well-known climax and blood runs at its thickest, our expert witnesses find themselves at the heart of incredible events--and in turn breathe life into traditional themes and ancient times that might otherwise have been the preserve of academics and scholars of Homer.

A frivolous and deliberate act by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, causes Xanthe and Marpessa to both fall in love with the same man--a wounded soldier called Alastor who arrives, writhing in pain, into the Blood Room where Xanthe nurses the slain. While the siblings clash and blame it all on the gods, other hearts are hurting too. Iason, stable boy to Hector, the son of Priam, has loved Xanthe since childhood. In turn, Polyxena, the granddaughter of Priam's singer, is in love with Iason. Alongside these cruel intertwined romances, some leading to tragedy and bitterness, the grim brutality of the climax to the Trojan War unfolds.

Troy is weighty in more ways than one. Yes, people are burnt to death, men slaughtered and women enslaved--but there are humorous crones and gossiping washerwomen too. Few punches are pulled here. But this is war, and anything less would be misleading. The writing is honest and skilfully rounded, the characters distinct and authentic. The setting is ancient, but the underlying messages are thoroughly modern.

Deservedly shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book Prize, Troyis a must-read novel by a must-read novelist. (Age 11+). --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read novel 22 May 2004
The legend of Troy is fairly well known. Prince steals King's wife (the most beautiful woman in the world), so he sends 1000 ships to get her back. This sets off a 10 year war, ending with the famous Trojan horse incident and the fall of Troy.
That's the point of view you always hear it from. But this story is talking about some of the people caught up in the fighting. The girls, Xanthe, Marpessa and Polyxena, and the men, Alastor and Iason. It's a lovestory, an action adventure. It's like the perfect film, but making it a film would probably spoil it as you could never get such feeling and imagination from moving pictures as you can with print and paper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Troy with a difference 16 Oct 2007
By Nadia
This is the story of Troy, but with a difference. All the well known and much loved characters are present, and the author's portrayals of Helen and Andromachy in particular are sensitive and well thought out. But the story is also told from the points of view of five innocent civilions living in the city, and the story of Troy is often told through their eyes. They are strong and deeply human characters, and the author sticks most faithfully to the story. All the characters, hero and civilion alike are at the mercy of the gods, and the story of the war is cleverly interwoven with the lives of the every day characters.
The inevitable climax of the book is handled with skill and makes for a powerful and moving story that will haunt the reader long after they have closed the book. A job very well done.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gripping Read! 27 July 2001
By A Customer
The book Troy is about the Trojan people who must suffer from the Gods and Goddesses meddling with others lives to make theirs more interesting. Although it starts slowly, Adele Geras has moulded a masterpiece whilst still keeping to the infamous story of Troy and the Trojan - Greek war. When the reader comes to the story, Troy has been at war with the Greeks for 10 years and is a city imprisoned within its own walls. Every day the men go out to the plain to fight, whilst their wives wonder if they will ever see them again. Troy is mainly focused on the women of Troy and their many struggles. Xanthe is a nursemaid to Hector's son and works in a place where injured soldiers are taken, the blood room. When she cares for Alastor, an injured soldier, Eros shoots an arrow into her heart and she instantly falls in love with him. Alastor seems to take more of an interest in her sister Marpessa though. She works in Helen and Paris' palace, and has an ability to see the Gods and Goddesses, but having this ability doesn't stop her from being shot in the heart with a love arrow from Aphrodite. Toy mainly focuses on these on the story between these two and their lives within the city. With the story of love and war these two girls, along with the more famous Trojan characters such as Helen, Paris, Hector, Andromache, Achilles, Odysseus and the Gods and Goddesses come together well in this fantastic book. If you don't already know the story of Troy then it doesn't matter because Adele Geras cleverly gives you everything that you need to know. If you do know the story then there is no need to worry that you already know the story then there is no need to think that you will already know the ending because it keeps you gripped until the end. Even though this story needs some perseverance at the start, I would recommend that you read this book when you have a lot of time because once you get into it then you will struggle to be able to put it back down!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but undeniably for teenagers only 7 Jan 2007
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
I had heard lots of good things about this book from adults as well as teenagers and so gave it a try: it is a well-written and slightly different take on the story of Troy, re-telling the stories of Homer and the Greek tragedians, but from the viewpoint of two Trojan serving girls (slaves?).

The tale is pretty accurate, but it becomes a bit whimsical rather than tragic when, for example, the girls see the gods in the city. Yes, I know perfectly that Homer makes his gods tangible beings, but they never lose their dignity and awe (even when Hera seduces Zeus, for example) but the idea of Poseidon selling fish in the Trojan market, or Hephaistus taking over a Trojan forge to make Achilles' famous shield really didn't work for me.

Having said that, I did enjoy the book, but found it often less emotional that I expected. Andromache's response to the death of Hector is done very well but then the tone falls away.

Overall I would recommend this to young teenagers who would benefit from being introduced to this story, but there really is no comparison with reading Homer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 19 Mar 2000
This is a wonderful book, whether or not you're already familiar with the story of the siege of Troy. Adele Geras tells her story from a mainly female perspective, inventing new characters to mix with Hector, Andromache, Helen etc. She uses a range of perspectives: two sisters, each of whom is in love with the same wounded soldier; gossipy laundresses who fill the role of Chorus; Iason, who looks after the horses. Meanwhile, the gods mingle with the characters and interfere with their affairs, motivated by concern, spite or sometimes just boredom. There are some evocative descriptions, and the many plot strands keep the reader engrossed without ever becoming confusing; Geras involves her reader fully with the characters, succeeding in giving her story a contemporary relevance while keeping the flavour of Homer's epic. TROY is a a wonderful achievement, and will certainly win a major award if the panels have any sense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A romantic and absorbing take on the Iliad.
Adele Geras takes the story of the Iliad, and while recreating it in way that mingles high adventure, tragedy, humour and fatalism, focuses specifically on the fates of five young... Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by Gary Selikow
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent holiday - or anytime - read!
I read this book when it first came out and was transported to ancient Greece. It is armchair travelling of the very best kind, bringing faraway places and faraway times vividly... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Reader in Beds
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Pleased
I had heard lots of good things about this book from both my friends and teachers at school. I decided to read it and after the first 3 chapters i was extremely bored. Read more
Published on 27 May 2008 by Bethan Wentz
3.0 out of 5 stars a good effort
but rather typecasts all the more famous characters - andromache is a plain jane, cassandra a screaming savant, helen the usual bardot- esque pouting wench straight from a... Read more
Published on 6 July 2007 by J. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I borrowed this book from a library because I love anything which has to do with Troy and I was hooked! It's a great story of love aginst the trojan backdrop. Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2007 by Roberta
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and Enjoyable...Well Worth Reading
This book was the first I have read about the ancient city of Troy. Therefore, I was new to all the surroundings and occurences and found it quite hard to keep up with all the... Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2006 by Martin Horsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-down-able!!
This book really was quite amazing. I remember reading it on the stairs because i just could not put it down. Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2005 by Briseis
5.0 out of 5 stars Troy
Troy is based on an ancient legend, but has universal appeal. It is essentialy, a love story.This book has everything a good read needs; an interesting plot, well developed... Read more
Published on 19 July 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A dynamic read.
This book was fantastic. It really made you feel what the characters were feeling. It was a rough ride to read because after some pages I felt that I may not what to read what was... Read more
Published on 30 May 2003 by "coopermp"
5.0 out of 5 stars An ancient marvel
I read this book in about 2 hours, then i went back and read it again and it was better the second time. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2003 by Julia
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