Troy: Shield of Thunder is the second book in David Gemmell’s Troy trilogy. It continues on from book1 ‘Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow’, following a different set of characters. The final book in the trilogy is ‘Troy: Fall of Kings’.
In this book most of the story is presented through the eyes of two regular soldiers – Kalliades and Banokles. They were part of a group of Mykene warriors who earlier lost a battle in Troy. Priam – King of Troy – set the warriors free, but Agamemnon – King of Mykene – executed the group for their failure. Kalliades and Banokles escaped from Mykene to avoid execution. They are a fascinating pair – Kalliades is a deep thinker who worries about right and wrong in every situation while Banokles is a complete non-thinker who takes life as it comes.
Kalliope (Piria) is a priestess on Thera who runs away to seek her lover Andromache. Kalliades and Banokles save Kalliope from a group of pirates and travel with her to Troy on Odyssues’s ship.
Even with the threat of war looming in Troy, Priam has invited representatives from all the surrounding kingdoms to the wedding of Hektor and Andromache. The gathering shows up the underlying tensions between the western nations led by King Agamemnon of Mykene and the eastern nations led by King Priam of Troy. The wedding festivities include games of strength and skill (like an early Olympics) and we get to meet the mighty Achilles for the first time.
King Priam manages to alienate Odysseus. In the past, Odysseus remained neutral and had no real enemies, but he becomes an enemy of Priam and goes on to fight with Agamemnon and the Mykene.
Andromache conceives a son who has been prophesized to reign till the end of days. He is known as the Eagle Child.
We leave the story with the fates of the war see-sawing between the eastern and western forces. I can’t wait to get to the final book of the series where we see the final battle of Troy.
Once again the book was absolutely brilliant with just the right amount of blood, tragedy, love and deception to be fascinating without overdoing it. This is one of the best series I have ever read!
Book Published 2006