Book Review: The Women of Troy – Pat Barker

Book Review: The Women of Troy – Pat Barker

Women of Troy #2
Release Date: 304
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I took part in a Tandem Collective readalong for this book
Rating: 3.75/5 stars


Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors – all they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind has vanished, the seas becalmed by vengeful gods, and so the warriors remain in limbo – camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, kept company by the women they stole from it.

The women of Troy.

Helen – poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace – and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.

Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.

Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.

Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.

And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.


I had never read anything by Pat Barker until I picked up The Silence of the Girls and I ended up reading it and The Women of Troy back to back. The story continues on where we left off in The Silence of the Girls, following Briseis and the other women after Troy has fallen. The Greeks have been victorious, but the winds are not strong enough to sail and they are stranded with only the women of Troy for company.

Whilst this was an interesting sequel, I found myself much more gripped by The Silence of the Girls. Barker has created some really compelling characters, dealing with the grief and trauma of losing everything and everyone they know and love. She really captures the sense of loss and I was really captivated by the well-crafted characters. Briseis in particular was a really interesting character – now a free woman and pregnant with Achilles’ child, she is still completely at the mercy of the men around her.

I did feel like there wasn’t an awful lot happening in the story and there were a couple of points where the story dragged a little. I do wonder whether Barker will write a third installment in this series and I would be excited to see where she takes it. If you’re a Greek mythology fan this is definitely one for you.

Blog Tour: Ariadne – Jennifer Saint

Blog Tour: Ariadne – Jennifer Saint

Release Date:
April 29th 2021
Publisher: Wildfire Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly provided an E-ARC to review
Rating: 4/5 stars


As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel


Ariadne first caught my eye because of that absolutely stunning cover. When I hear this was a retelling of the minotaur myth from the perspective of Ariadne I was incredibly excited to pick it up. The story follows Ariadne, daughter of King Minos. Ariadne lives with the sound of hoofbeats beneath the palace, as the minotaur roams the labyrinth below. When Theseus, Prince of Athens is brought to Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him and decides to help him destroy the minotaur. But doing so will betray her family and her country.

I absolutely adore Greek retellings and this might possibly be my favourite one ever. I completely fell in love with this story. Saint has absolutely stunning prose and I got completely lost in this beautiful, fiercely feminist story. Ariadne is a fascinating character and it was so compelling to read the story from her point of view. The story really focuses in on all the female characters that are forgotten in the original myths, in favour of the infamous heroes. Ariadne is an impressive debut and I cannot wait to read more from Jennifer Saint.

There were so many things I loved about this book and I particularly enjoyed the sense of sisterhood between Ariadne and Phaedra. Saint has the ability to write really compelling characters and I must admit I got a bit teary-eyed at the ending. This is an exceptional debut and if you’re a fan of books by Madeline Miller and Pat Barker, this should definitely be your next read.