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Black Ships

by Jo Graham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Numinous World (1)

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6788628,580 (3.87)160
The daughter of a slave taken from fallen Troy, Gull was chosen to become the voice of the Lady of the Dead and counsel kings. But when nine black ships appear, captained by exiled Prince Aeneas, she joins him as his guide and leads him to his destiny.
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» See also 160 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
This book is enchanting. It's a story of how Aeneas founded Rome, but told from the Sybil's perspective.

I never read the Aeneid, but I got the the idea that author was trying to tackle an epic story. The book did become burdensome to read at times.

I do agree with one of the reviewers that are too many characters. Maybe the original Aeneid had all these characters and she felt she needed to include them.

She wrote well enough so that it warrants me to check out the sequel. ( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this -- a deep, engrossing read, with wonderful characters and a very satisfying, unique story. I wrote "unique" with some trepidation, since this story has, in fact, been told a gazillion times, broadly the journey the defeated Trojans took after their city's fall and the founding of Rome by Aeneas, the Trojan prince. But the story is told by Aeneas' "oracle," a former slave and child of rape called Gull. Through her eyes, we see one of the (many) great cataclysms of ancient world, the destruction of cities (and knowledge) prompted by sea-faring and the attempt by the Greeks to capitalize on their victory at Troy by taking over the Mediterranean. Graham is excellent at putting us firmly in Gull while at the same time panning out to gives us a sense of the overall world (a skill I'm definitely working on). The start is a bit slow and the pace leisurely, but it really pays off at the end. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
This book was amazing, I was still thinking about it way after I was done. ( )
  MissLisaAnn | Jul 7, 2020 |
I've read many stories about Troy, leading up to the fall of the city, but this is the first I've ever read that's set afterwards and I thought it was fascinating. To read of the survivors and their travels, and starting a new city was very interesting and I thought it was very well done. A bit slow to read, but I didn't have any trouble finishing the story in 2 days. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Gull is given to Pythia's temple when she is young, and slowly learns the mysteries of the priestesses of death. Eventually she becomes the sibyl, just in time to receive a vision of approaching black ships. Her prophecy compels her to race into the town, where she prevents whole-sale slaughter between her mother's people and the people who took her as a slave. Gull goes with the Wilusans (from the Hittite's word for Trojans) as they search for a new homeland. As they travel they realize that their own tragedy is part of a larger spread of chaos and war throughout the Mediterranean. Eventually, led by their heroic prince Aeneas, they marry into a new land and form the foundations for Rome.

I liked this, but I would have liked this a lot more if A)Graham had used names I recognized from Greek and Roman tales, instead of confusing me with Hittite names and B)magic and the gods weren't clearly at work. With just a few edits, Gull's visions from and discussions with gods could have become enticingly ambiguous. Additionally, after the first few chapters I felt like nothing bad would happen to the company; I was all too sure that Gull and Aeneas would succeed at their every endeavor. Again, I would have loved a little less surety, a little more ambiguity. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
The structure of this story isn’t anything readers of feminist historical fantasy haven’t seen before... But although the novel lacks surprises, it compensates with sympathetic characters and emotional truth.
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (May 20, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Grahamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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You must know that, despite all else I am, I am of the People.
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In the beginning there was nothing, not even time. And then there was something. A word. A thought. And then in an instant there was everything.
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The daughter of a slave taken from fallen Troy, Gull was chosen to become the voice of the Lady of the Dead and counsel kings. But when nine black ships appear, captained by exiled Prince Aeneas, she joins him as his guide and leads him to his destiny.

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Orbit Books

2 editions of this book were published by Orbit Books.

Editions: 0316068004, 0316067997

Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316068004, 0316067997

 

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