(From the publisher):
Thirty-two hundred years ago, the people of a shining civilization apparently set out to prove the truth of the saying that whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. The civilization was the long-forgotten one that is now called Mycenaean. The madness that destroyed it was the Trojan War.
Richard Powell has gone back to this fabled period to write a big and colorful and lovingly-researched novel of its people and events. His central character is Helios, who may or may not be a bastard son of Priam, the High King. The story begins two years before the Trojan War, when Helios is eight, and carries him through boyhood and adolescence until he reaches manhood on the terrible night when Troy falls. His search for an identity, for knowledge, and for friendship and love, weaves in and out of the great events sung by Homeric bards, giving a new perspective and depth to them.
One of the author's aims in writing this book was to introduce modern readers to the golden people of the Iliad and Odyssey and Aeneid. Nearly all of them are here—Achilles and Odysseus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, Hector, Paris, Helen, Great Ajax and Little Ajax, Cassandra, Aeneas—and they are depicted from a fresh viewpoint. Is Achilles, for example, simply the overpowering hero of legend, or is he a more complicated person touched with manic-depressive insanity? Does the saying "Wise as Nestor" properly describe that ruler, or did the Homeric bards mean to show him as a talkative and comic fool? Is Agamemnon a great and tragic king, or one of history's worst blunderers? What motivated Helen of Troy and accounted for her strange power over men? The answers to these and other questions are part of the rich fabric of the story.
Original title: Whom the Gods Would Destroy
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Greece