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Troy: Shield of Thunder
I was familiar with Homer's Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid before I read David Gemmell's Troy: Shield of Thunder (Bantam Press, $32.95, 9780593052235). And I knew not to expect a retelling of these great poems. That isn't Gemmell's style - his stories are of men, not Gods.
I admit it - I really enjoy David Gemmell's ability to write a fast moving action fantasy - loved his first novel Legend.
Gemmell's attempts to engineer a plausible historical context to the Epic poetry of Homer's Iliad reminded me of the Michael Wood's TV series, In Search of Myths and Heroes. By and large Gemmell succeeds. Though it is disappointingly obvious how the Mycenians will enter Troy using the Trojan Horse. Still the "historical" interpretation devised by Gemmell is perfectly plausible and neat.
His language - modern, blokey and jokey helps the reader immerse self into the story. But often jars in this, ostensibly a historical fantasy novel. Do we believe that Bronze Age heroic warriors joked using similar language to 21st century young men? Well if you can suspend your disbelief good on you. I couldn't with this novel.
It is nice to see for the fan of Gemmell that he had finished the series before his untimely death. His are big boots to fill. There are not many fantasy novelists who write pure adventure nowadays.
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