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West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Read-Alikes: The Song of Achilles

If you like this bittersweet, romantic adaptation of Homer's classical poem of the Trojan War, here are some other epic reads you may enjoy.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Presents an entertaining yet disturbing retelling of the ancient Greek tale of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, and her twelve hanged maids

The silence of the girls : a novel by Pat Barker

"From the Booker Prize-winning author of the Regeneration trilogy comes a monumental new masterpiece, set in the midst of literature's most famous war. Pat Barker turns her attention to the timeless legend of The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War. The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody war over a stolen woman--Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watchesand waits for the war's outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy's neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece's greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles's concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army. When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught betweenthe two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and cooly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis's people, but also of the ancient world at large. Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war--the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead--all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis's perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker's latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives--and itis nothing short of magnificent"--

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

"A mesmerizing debut novel for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe. Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid's stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice every year. When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne's decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind? Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, outside the traditional narratives of heroism and glory that leave no room for women"--

The women of Troy : a novel by Pat Barker

"Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war–including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean. It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester. Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles’s slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam’s aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge."--book jacket

For the most beautiful : a novel of the women of Troy by Emily (Fiction writer) Hauser

Three thousand years ago a war took place where legends were born: Achilles, the greatest of the Greeks, and Hector, prince of Troy. Both men were made and destroyed by the war that shook the foundations of the ancient world. But what if there was more to the tale of these heroes than we know? How would the Trojan War have looked as seen through the eyes of its women? Krisayis, the ambitious, determined daughter of the High Priest of Troy, and Briseis, loyal and passionate princess of Pedasus, interweave their tales alongside Homer’s classic story of the rage of Achilles and the gods of Olympus. What follows is a breathtaking tale of love and revenge, destiny and the determination, as these two brave women, the heroes of the Trojan War, and the gods themselves come face to face in an epic battle that will decide the fate of Troy

Circe : a novel by Madeline Miller

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals

The bear and the nightingale : a novel by Katherine Arden

"In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay"--

The girl in the tower : a novel by Katherine Arden

"The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home--but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege"--

House of names : a novel by Colm Tóibín

From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Toibin comes a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra--spectacularly audacious, violent, vengeful, lustful, and instantly compelling--and her children... In House of Names, Colm Toibin brings a modern sensibility and language to an ancient classic, and gives this extraordinary character new life, so that we not only believe Clytemnestra's thirst for revenge, but applaud it. He brilliantly inhabits the mind of one of Greek myth's most powerful villains to reveal the love, lust, and pain she feels. Told in fours parts, this is a fiercely dramatic portrait of a murderess, who will herself be murdered by her own son, Orestes. It is Orestes' story, too: his capture by the forces of his mother's lover Aegisthus, his escape and his exile. And it is the story of the vengeful Electra, who watches over her mother and Aegisthus with cold anger and slow calculation, until, on the return of her brother, she has the fates of both of them in her hands

The swallowed man by Edward Carey

"In the small Tuscan town of Collodi, a lonely woodcarver longs for the companionship of a son. One day, "as if the wood commanded me," Giuseppe--better known as Geppetto--carves for himself a pinewood boy, a marionette he hopes to take on tour worldwide.But when his handsome new creation comes magically to life, the woodcarver screams at him . . . and the boy, Pinocchio, leaps from his arms and escapes into the night. Though he returns the next day, the wily boy torments his father, challenging his authority and making up stories--whereupon his nose, the very nose his father carved, grows before his eyes like an antler. When the boy disappears after one last fight, the father follows a rumor to the coast and out into the sea, where he is swallowed by agreat fish--and consumed by guilt, as he hunkers in the creature's belly awaiting the day when he will reconcile with the son he drove away. With all the charm, atmosphere, and emotional depth for which Edward Carey is known--and featuring his trademark fantastical illustrations--The Swallowed Man is a parable of parenthood, loss, and letting go, from a creative mind on a par with Gregory Maguire, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton"--

Lord of the silver bow by David Gemmell

The half-drowned king : a novel by Linnea Hartsuyker

"The first installment in a debut trilogy, THE HALF-DROWNED KING tells the compelling story of the political intrigues, battles, and struggles for power that led to the rise of King Harald the Fair-Haired, first king of Norway, seen through the eyes of the young man who became his most trusted warrior and advisor. Conjuring a bloodthirsty, superstitious, and thrilling ancient world (9th century), this debut novel is for fans of Game of Thrones, the Vikings TV series, and Outlander"--

The witch's heart by Genevieve Gornichec

"When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this fierce, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse myth. Angrboda's story begins where most witch's tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to give him knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him grows reluctantly into a deep and abiding love. Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who she is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin's all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life--and possibly all of existence--is in danger. Angrboda must choose whether she'll accept the fate that she's foreseen for her beloved family...or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales, this novel forges a story of love, loss and hope for the modern age"--

The mercies : a novel by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

"Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later, a stranger arrives on their shore. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband's authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence"--

The prophets : a novel by Robert Jones

"A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence"--

The buried giant : a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

"You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay. . ." The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war

The Iliad by Homer

This "plain English" translation of the epic poem recounts the triumphs and defeats of the Greek and Trojan heroes during the Trojan War and the destruction of Troy by combined Greek armies
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