The great city of Troy is under siege as Greek heroes Achilles and Agamemnon wage bloody war over a stolen woman. In the Greek camp, another woman is watching and waiting, Briseis. She was a queen of this land until Achilles sacked her city and murdered her husband and sons. Now she is Achilles’ concubine: a prize of battle. Briseis is just one among thousands of women backstage in this war – the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead – all of them voiceless in history. Though no one knows it yet, they are just ten weeks away from the death of Achilles and the Fall of Troy, an end to this long and bitter conflict. Briseis will see it all – and she will bear witness.
The magic of Barker's book is that the resonance of giving silenced women a voice at the centre of the story is just as relevant today - Grazia
The most important novel based on The Iliad so far this century - Edith Hall
Giving voice to the voiceless, this is a gripping feat of imagination that succeeds in being relevant today - Woman and Home
An impressive feat of literary revisionism that should be on the Man Booker longlist... This is a story about the very real cost of wars waged by men... Barker makes us re-think history - Independent