Originally commissioned as two slim volumes retelling the myths of the Trojan War and its aftermath, Lindsay was so possessed by the power and beauty of these ancient legends that the project developed into two full-length novels, each more than 400 pages long and each written in a what felt like a trance of inspiration in approximately four months.
In 2020 the novels were republished by HarperCollins in four paperbacks as The Troy Quartet:
A Prince of Troy
When the mortal Paris settles a contest between the gods, he is promised the love of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world.
But Helen is already married, to the powerful Menelaus of Sparta, and the kings of many cities have sworn to defend their union. Paris’s divine gift threatens to set his world aflame.
The War at Troy
Enraged by the betrayal of Helen and Paris, Menelaus and his brother, the High King Agamemnon, gather their allies and set out to conquer the city of Troy.
Aboard their ships and behind the city’s walls are figures whose names and deeds echo through history – the wily strategist Odysseus, the Trojan champion Hector, and the fiercely proud, impetuous warrior Achilles.
The Spoils of Troy
Troy has fallen. After ten years of fighting and a savage final massacre, the victors quarrel over what remains and turn their minds to home.
Menelaus must decide the fate of Helen, whose incomparable beauty ignited the war. And Agamemnon must return to the fury of Clytaemnestra, who has neither forgotten nor forgiven his choice to sacrifice their daughter.
The Return from Troy
Traumatized by the slaughter that his ingenuity unleashed upon the people of Troy, Odysseus believes himself unworthy of returning home.
Embarking on an epic journey to the ends of the world and deep into the shadows of his own heart, Odysseus turns at last for Ithaca, where his wife and son await, besieged by rivals who believe – and wish – him dead.
“I found The War at Troy a triumph of retelling the ancient story of the siege and its aftermath, a readable and freshened version that keeps one turning the pages.”
“This is all expertly handled, drawing on the best of this classic tale and shaping it into a riveting page-turner well-suited to our times. In fact, some contemporary plots look pallid by comparison.”
(David Shukman, The Daily Mail)
I have just finished The Return from Troy. I was impressed by the first volume. This one is even better – much better. Much of the story was new to me. It is all completely seamless. I’m not surprised you felt emptied after finishing it.
(Keith Sagar, author of Literature and the Crime against Nature)