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.