Monday, July 10, 2017

Murray Lee Eiland Jr.’s THE RAID ON TROY


Title:
THE RAID ON TROY

Author: Murray Lee Eiland
Jr.

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 300

Genre: Light Fantasy / Historical Fiction / YA




The Greek raid on Troy
is chronicled in the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems are pillars of ancient
literature and continue to be carefully studied. Homer, who lived in the 8th or
7th century BC, is credited as the author. The actual conflict has been dated
from 1260-1180 BC or even earlier. The question is, how close is Homer’s
account to real history?

In the Orfeo Saga volume seven there are some familiar
characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically
different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled
gold of Troy. His brother Menas is
king of Sparta. They assemble a
coalition to sack the city. Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved
to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae
and goes to Troy. Odysees might not
be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the
expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his
first real adventure. Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the
assembled military might of Greece
as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax,
who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon - now an old
man - defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?

The Raid on Troy
might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does
offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.

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Memnon knew the ship was hitting the beach. He heard the scraping of the hull against sand and
pebbles, and the angle of the deck changed as the prow rose higher. He had not seen the ship’s deck for days, nor had he been permitted to walk
around on land for perhaps two years. Slaves on Theran ships were
treated with about the same respect as sheep, only slaves could not even
be eaten because of some Theran religious prohibition. Galley slaves
were useful,but were neither expensive nor in short supply.

At age fourteen, Memnon had seen little else of the world,
as he had been seized in a slaver raid as he and his brothers
played on an unknown beach now well beyond remembering. He knew he was less than five years old at the time, and now he believed he
was nearly fifteen, although no one had been interested in explaining
the concept of birthdays to him. Memnon had learned virtually all of
what he knew from other slaves in the orchards of Thera, where he had begun
his working career by carrying buckets of water to the men who
tended the trees and picked the fruit. He had been separated from the
two older brothers seized at the same time, but recognized one of them
as he was taken to his place at an oar on one of the warships the
Therans used to exact tribute from various cities; Memnon had
occasionally spoken with him when their different groups of oarsmen were allowed
on deck
Memnon recognized that his brother burned with rage. Over
time, Memnon found himself coming to understand its origin and
nature. Although he could not recall much about his life before his abduction, he remembered a world with occasional comforts, and even
times of celebration.












Dr Eiland is a psychiatrist by training, and has written
about Near Eastern art and culture. His novels are set in the heroic past and
feature fictional characters in a realistic matrix. He has a special interest
in exploring how and why people lead. The books contain themes that are
suitable for young adults who have an interest in history.

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