While Volume One of this Trilogy LORD OF THE SILVER BOW had a raucous energy that brought the events of the Iliad and the Odyssey to life, this novel didn’t succeed as well.
The problem as I see it is that it changed mood and tone so dramatically that I felt as if the ending had been tacked on. This ruined the forward momentum of SHIELD OF THUNDER the second novel in the Troy trilogy.
SHIELD OF THUNDER divides into three parts.
Book One THE GATHERING STORM and Book Two AN ENEMY OF TROY pick up where LORD OF THE SILVER BOW left off. Just after Helikaon and his betrothed Halysia reach the garden of his hilltop palace in Dardania to announce their engagement, an assassin leaps forward, plunging a dagger into Helikaon’s chest. And so THE GATHERING STORM and AN ENEMY OF TROY deal with Helikaon’s mortal wound and what effect that has on the characters we met in LORD OF THE SILVER BOW.
Book Three THE BATTLE FOR THRAKI is where the problem occurs. We suddenly jump forward three years, discovering that Helikaon and Andromache both have three-year-old boys. While Andromache has not changed much, Helikaon has become a power-drunk King who terrifies his men. But they, along with Odysseus, Priam, Agamemnon and the other kings and princes melt into the background as we follow the struggles of two previously unknown characters, the soldiers Kalliades and Banakles, who fight off repeated threats in Thraki (or Thrace) against the Mykene (or Mycenae) hordes. Everything comes to an end with the burning of Dardania, Helikaon’s home, and the death of Halysia, his wife.
The tone in Book Three is so completely different, being less joyous and exuberant, and much more sad and filled with heartbreak that I really wonder if this last part of SHIELD OF THUNDER doesn’t belong elsewhere, like the third volume of the Troy Trilogy, which I am about to read. Four stars.