In the foothills of Mount Ida, a humble shepherd named Paris learns that his life so far has been a lie. He is of royal stock, a son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, named Alexandros at his birth but abandoned in the wilderness after an ill omen.
Moreover, Paris has been selected to settle a dispute among the gods. As the sole judge in an all-goddess beauty pageant, Paris chooses Aphrodite, after her promise that the woman of his choice will become his wife.
Paris names Helen of Sparta, universally acknowledged to be the most beautiful woman in the world. This, despite the fact that Paris is already married to Oenone, while Helen was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris breaks his existing marriage and, with Aphrodite's aid, convinces Helen to elope with him to the Trojan city of Ilion, where Paris is accepted as the long lost Prince Alexandros.
Helen's dishonored and enraged first husband, Menelaus, calls in the loyalty oaths of Helen's other former suitors, Achaean kings and princes from across the lands of Hellas. Soon, a thousand ships assemble to ferry an Achaean army across the Aegean to undertake a brutal campaign against Ilion. Scores of legendary warriors among them are led by Overlord Agamemnon, who just happens to be Menelaus's brother.
Nine years into the Achaean siege of Troy, the greatest Achaean warrior, Achilles, is sidelined with a bad case of "the angries" after a conflict with Overlord Agamemnon.
For Achilles, this episode marks an inflection point where he must decide either to fully commit to the war and accept that his death is the fated result, or to retreat to safety and complete a long but ordinary lifetime.
This six-week phase of a decade-long war ends with devastating losses on both sides. Achilles's closest friend, Patroclus, is dead, as is Hector, Priam's assumed heir and Troy's strongest protector. The rage of Achilles has abated, having sealed him a short life and glorious legacy.
The story ends as two sides pause to mourn their dead, with no immediate prospects for ending their years-long stalemate.
And then, an Amazon came...
This draft manuscript is subject to revision.
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Text © 2020 Greg R. Fishbone, all rights reserved.