Review: A Hero’s Welcome (Heroes of Troy #2) by Daniel Kelly

Rating: 9/10

Synopsis

The greatest city on earth has been reduced to a pile of smoldering ash, but the cost has been high. The fabled king Priam with the last remnant of the city, knowing all hope of survival is gone, sacrifice themselves in a last act of defiance to destroy the greek army.
His once mighty army destroyed, his alliances in ruins.
Agamemnon crawls for the safety of his fortress walls of Mycaenea well aware that enemies will smell blood in the water.
But after ten years at war, who could you trust to keep your throne safe?

Running for their very lives, the refugees of Troy search the sea’s of the Mediterranean for refugee led by Aeneas. Somewhere they can survive, in the hope of one day bringing vengence to their home.

Achilles had a son, whom some call Pyrrhus.
Having missed the great war, he is determined to prove himself by hunting down the refugees.

Odysseus,
having helped them escape feels duty bound to find the refugees and warn them of their peril.

Review

A Hero’s Welcome is the second book in the Hero’s of Troy series. It continues an already unique and intriguing alternate ending to the usual Troy. Instantly we are presented with the aftermath of the war for Troy with some obvious differences. The victors return home after a gruelling 10 year war, exhausted and longing for their home, while the last remnants of Troy are on the run. During the first part of the book there is a strong focus on Agamemnon’s return home, while his wife and son come to terms with this. It seems however, that both have different idea’s for Agamemnon’s return. I hugely enjoyed this part of the novel as there is rarely a focus on the aftermath of a well known battle, especially that of the antagonist. Kelly put a nice focus on each characters emotions and the effects the war had on them, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and made characters as morally ambiguous as Agamemnon more human and likeable. I found the focus on his son hugely interesting, especially the respect he has for a father who hasn’t been home in 10 years.

Despite enjoying this part of the novel, I was itching to read up on the survivors of Troy, however, it wasn’t until almost half way through the novel that I was greeted with a focus on these survivors. I’d say this was my only gripe with the book, but that might just be my impatience! The survivors whom I won’t name, in fear of giving away a huge twist from book one, are on the run and looking for somewhere to settle.

As in the first book, I found the characters highly interesting. Despite most of them being well known heroes, Kelly added an interesting depth to each character, through their motivations and interactions with each other. My favourite was Agamemnon’s son who is driven by his desire to stay loyal to his father, while also developing as a character by becoming a leader himself. It’s surprising how rarely such a plot is used, but it just works so well! The survivors of Troy are of course interesting in a very unique way. I thoroughly enjoyed following their quest, but also felt like it was just getting started by the end. There were of course a number of others characters including Achille’s son who is determined to hunt down the survivors of Troy and Odysseus who on the other hand is trying to save the refugees, making the amount of characters quite large, but still varied and interesting enough so that the plot didn’t get bogged down.

The writing continued to be top notch in this novel. The action as before is fantastic and movie-like. The book felt fast-paced and to the point, so that it wasn’t bogged down by overly descriptive detail and helped the story flow, making it easy to follow. Still, there is definitely a good amount of world-building in this book to transport the reader into the Bronze Age.

This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone, especially lovers of Troy, who are looking for a refreshing take on a genre that has been done many times before. You won’t regret it!

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