A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (Review by Bruna Looby)

2 min read

 4.2 / 5.0

Wow. What a journey.

We all know the story about the Trojan war. Achilles, the wooden horse, Helen and Menelaus. But what happened after the war? And mainly, what happened to the women whose husbands, brothers, and relatives died in the war?

“This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them. A war does not ignore half the people whose lives it touches. So why would we?”

In this book, we have the POV of several women who had their lives affected by the war somehow. The chapters switch between before and after the war, and since the war lasted ten years, I was intrigued with how the author would keep the reader interested and still be able to fit ten years into 360 pages. But she managed to do it.

We also have (and this was my favorite part) the POV of the gods and goddess and their interfering in the war. Natalie Haynes was so creative and I was immersed in this fictional world. I was always excited when a chapter was from the POV of one of the gods.

Gaia (Mother Earth) is tired and upset with how overpopulated the world is. When she turns to Zeus for help, he decides a war is the best way to eliminate part of humankind. And it’ll all start with a forbidden love.

Reading this book is like watching the movie Troy, adding a lot of detail and explanation. For example, why were Helen and Paris destined to be together? Couldn’t they just say no to their affair and avoid the destruction of Troy? Well, the author has a great explanation for this.

The non-chronological time frame threw me off a little bit but I got used to it after a few chapters. Also, if you’re not entirely in love with the story, just wait for the second half. It’s much more fast paced.

If you liked Circe, you should definitely read this one!

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