Review: A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

MY ⭐️ RATING: 3.5/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


This is the women’s war, just as much as it is themen’s. They have waited long enough for their turn…
This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of them all…
In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and
the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen.
From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and
tragic war.

A woman’s epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world’s great tale ever told.


I wanted to love this, because I love these types of stories that tell a retelling or a different point of view of Homers epic of The Iliad and The Odyssey, such as Madeline Miller’s, Circe and The Song of Achilles as well as Daniel Kelly’s, Fall of the Phoenix and A Hero’s Welcome. This however, takes a different approach, by telling the story through Calliope, the Greek muse of heroic poetry as she inspires Homer to tell additional tales of goddesses, amazons, Greek and Trojan women during the Trojan war.

The thing I love the most, is that this isn’t a complete retelling, as it still keeps true to The Iliad and The Odyssey, while getting to see a different view of the Trojan war and how it affected the wives or lovers of some of the most famous men of the epic. This is definitely a breath of fresh air into one of the most famous stories ever written, because they deserved to have a story of their own as well.

“When a war was ended, the men lost their lives. But the women lost everything else.”

It tells the stories of some 20 different women, some get a single chapter and not a lot of depth, others get multiple and a far deeper story. All the stories were good and well written, but most of the smaller stories felt a bit unnecessary other than to say they got a voice in the novel. Those stories just didn’t give enough time to develop any kind of feeling towards the character so when their story was over, it was just, an “ok… on to the next” type of feeling. The author had a bunch of great ideas, but this could have been a lot longer and each of the parts expanded upon and given more time to grow, and I probably would’ve loved this a lot more.

I also had a small issue with the authors narration, for most of the novel, it felt like she didn’t give any kind of emotion. She did a great job of differentiating her voices for the characters involved, but it just felt like something was missing from the performance. With that said, it was a great set of stories that the author created, so I would definitely recommend this as a read only over doing the audio or Whispersync.

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