A Thousand Ships is a retelling of the Trojan War (what has led to it, what has happened during the war and the aftermath of it), told from a female perspective. And not just the perspective of a single woman, but from all the women who were involved in the war, the trojan women, the goddesses, the fates and the greek women, whose lives have been changed by the war. Only one woman isn´t allowed to tell her story ... but I´m not going to tell you who that is.
This was such a great read. At times funny, at times devastating, this book makes the Trojan War and all it´s repercussions come to live. And I absolutely loved every single page of it.
"You need my help," she said. Themis preferred statements to questions.
"There are too many mortals." Zeus nodded. "Far, far too many."
"Gaia had told you she suffers," Themis said. "Their weight is too great for her to hold."
"So she said. We must take many thousands of them."
"Plague," she suggested, but the king of the gods shook his head.
"Too inexact. Sometimes it just picks off the old, who would be dead soon anyway."
"Flood," she said.
"Too indiscriminate. It´ll take out the livestock as well."
"Always so mindful of you sacrifices," she laughed. He licked his lips at the thought of calf fat sizzling in flames.
"Volcano." She followed his thoughts toward fire.
"Too low a death toll."
"Poseidon is too prone to partiality. You know how he is. He will obliterate Athene´s or Apollo´s favourites and keep his own intact. It will cause more trouble than it´s worth."
Their eyes met. "War, then."
With everything that is going on at the moment, this is a bit eerie.
"Let me see." Hera reached for the ball and smirked as Athene´s hand closed over it reflexively. "I said to let me see it." Hera grabbed Athene´s fist with both hands, and prised the sphere from it. Athene tried to stop her, but as she was simultaneously trying to hold her spear, she could not.
"It´s my ball," she said again. The other gods were beginning to notice that something was going on. Never averse to a good fight, they began to gather around.
"It´s not a ball," Hera replied. "Look." She held up a perfect golden apple It was almost spherical, but widened towards the top, beneath a tiny golden stalk. An indentation at the bottom allowed it to fit neatly between finger and thumb.
"It´s still mine," Athene said.
"Something´s written on it," said Hera, as she turned the apple in her hand. "Te kalliste."
"I told you it was mine," Aphrodite shrugged. "Who else could it possibly mean?"
There was a momentary pause. "Perhaps it´s mine," Hera said. "Did either of you consider that?"
"Give it back," said Athene. "Papa!"
The gods looked around and eventually behind them to see the tall, bearded figure of Zeus, walking quickly out of earshot.
"We can all see you sneaking off," Hera snapped.
LoL. I love how petty the gods are.
I´m offering him the story of all the women in the war. Well, most of them (I haven´t decided about Helen yet. She gets on my nerves).
I´m giving him the chance to see the war from both ends: how it was caused, and how its consequences played out. Epic in scale and subject matter. And here he is, whining about Theano because her part in the story is completed and he´s only just worked out how to describe her. Idiot poet. It´s not her story, or Creusa´s story. It´s their story. At least it will be, if he stops complaining and starts composing.
This is really good so far. I like that this book sets in after the infamous horse-incident and that the main focus so far is on the women of Troy. I really wouldn´t have cared about another story featuring Achilles.