The Oracles of Troy

ebook

By Glyn Iliffe

cover image of The Oracles of Troy

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The siege of Troy has reached its tenth year without an end in sight. Helen remains safe behind the city walls, sharing her lover's bed while Menelaus, the husband she abandoned, rages without, desperate for revenge and yet impotent against the stalemate imposed by the gods. His brother, Agamemnon, cares little about what happens to his sister-in-law, but is determined to have victory at any cost if he is to establish his empire on both sides of the Aegean. Facing him from across the god-made battlements of Troy is Priam, old and vain but fully Agamemnon's match in his desire to defend his kingdom and the beautiful Helen, for whose sake so many of his people have died.

Trapped in the middle is Odysseus, the lowly king of an insignificant island, whose strength lies not in the size of his army or the influence of his wealth, but in his sharp intelligence and powerful voice. Forced to leave his wife and infant son ten years before to join the fight, he will stop at nothing to bring an end to the war so he can return home to Ithaca. But while Zeus refuses to grant either side victory, even Odysseus's resourcefulness has its limits.

At his side is the fiercely loyal Eperitus, captain of the Ithacan royal guard. Half-Greek and half-Trojan, Eperitus finds his identity in his ceaseless thirst for glory in battle - as well as the desire to hunt down and kill his treacherous father, Apheidas. Now a commander in the Trojan army, Apheidas committed the vilest of murders in his lust for power and brought an enduring stain of dishonour upon his family - a stain that Eperitus is determined to wipe clean. He finds an unexpected ally in Astynome, one of his father's servants, who after initially being used by Apheidas to lure Eperitus into a trap, ends up falling in love with the Ithacan.

While Odysseus fights to end the war that keeps him from his family, at home on the island of Ithaca his wife is fighting her own battle. When the king's rivals dare to believe he might never return from Troy and begin to eye his throne, it is left to Penelope to defend her husband's crown and the right of their son to inherit it. But, though a queen, she is unable to call on the brute strength with which her husband had assured his position, so must rely on her charm and cunning to buy time for his eventual homecoming.

And on the shores of Ilium, out of the mire of stalemate, a new hope has appeared. The gods are stirring, shaking off their detachment and laying down a trail to victory. If anyone has the courage to follow it.

The Oracles of Troy