I'm currently behind on reviews, so don't be surprised if the recent reviews are a bit sparse.

Shield of Thunder

Cover of Shield of Thunder.

Second part of the Troy series, and I’m a bit less impressed (but still happy to read on!). Three new main characters are thrown into the mix (Andromache’s lover, plus Kalliades and Banokles), in addition to the already established Helikaon and Odysseus. Through their eyes, we also get more information about Hector and Achilles.

The pacing was odd, and I was less invested in the characters, especially Kalliades (who, I guess, was meant to carry much of the story) and Piria in all her anger and short-sightedness. Odysseus is the one who kept me coming back for more, especially seeing him forced into taking sides against his nearly-foster-son, and seeing the Trojan War break out for real โ€“ and what it does to the characters and lands shown in more peaceful times before. Andromache and her lover both get some motivation and agency, and Odysseus gets even more depth.

Secrets from the last book bite everybody, as is only right, and while there is a lot of war and raiding displayed, not once is it downplayed. There are always characters who are (or used to be) victims, and who portray war with horror or anger. Gemmell is really really good at this.