Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Shadow of Troy, Book 5 in the Empires of Bronze series by Gordon Doherty.
Here’s the blurb
The war at Troy has raged for ten years. Its final throes will echo through eternity…
1258 BC: Surrounded and outnumbered by the army of Agamemnon, King Priam and his Trojan forces fight desperately to defend their city. In the lulls between battle, all talk inevitably turns to the mighty ally that has not yet arrived to their aid. Agamemnon will weep for mercy, the Trojans say, when the eastern horizons darken with the endless ranks of the Hittite Empire.
King Hattu has endured a miserable time since claiming the Hittite throne. Vassals distance themselves while rival empires circle, mocking him as an illegitimate king. Worst of all, the army of the Hittites is but a memory, destroyed in the civil war that won him the throne. Knowing that he must honour his empire’s oath to protect Troy, he sets off for Priam’s city with almost nothing, praying that the dreams he has endured since his youth – of Troy in ruins – can be thwarted. All the way, an ancient mantra rings in his head: Hittites should always heed their dreams.
It’s been 10 long years but King Hattu has never forgotten the Hittite oath to Troy. One way or another Hattu will aid his friends.. the issue is the Hittite’s no longer have an army. He knows the danger.. not only to himself, but the struggling Hittite empire too. Hattu will do everything he can to uphold the oath his brother made to the people of Troy.
The journey to Troy doesn’t go quite as planned and there’s some wonderful interaction with Achilles, the champion within Agamemnon’s army. The early setup in the story describing the dynamic between Achilles and Agamemnon and the struggles they have in the army really worked well.
Hattu arrives at Troy thanks to an unlikely source, only to find things a little bit off. Troy have managed to stop Agamemnon at every step but it’s not been without loss… and the reason behind the losses is not clear cut.. there’s more at play here than we know and Hattu makes his own vow to get to the bottom of this.
The story of Troy’s fall is one most will have heard of, their fate is already sealed, but what Gordon Doherty offers is something new, something fresh, something god damn breath-taking! It felt like I was hearing the tale for the first time. It didn’t feel like a story I’d heard before, there’s so much more depth and emotion.
We see the tale from a different perspective woven expertly with the Hittite’s struggle. The Hittite empire has it’s own issues and I feel the author managed to capture both the struggles of Troy and the Hittites well, neither overshadowing the other.
What Gordon Doherty hit perfectly was the plot and character development, the story flows so naturally and we get depth added to a large number of characters in quick succession as he brings individuals such as Paris, Hector, Agamemnon and many others to life , it’s pure talent to give each character their own depth without moving too far away from the focus of the plot itself.
Doherty constantly brings history to life, uses his knowledge and storytelling skills in such a way that the story mesmerises you. I’m utter in awe of the author and what I’ve just read. The easiest 5* I’ll give this year!