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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
“History is written by victors.” So, who can tell if the well-known accounts of the Trojan war reflect the actual truth? In The Fall of the Phoenix, Daniel Kelly incorporates historical events mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid and weaves them together to present an alternative version of history. The book starts with the famous duel between Hector and Achilles, ending with the fall of the once-mighty Trojan empire. The ten-year-long siege had exhausted Troy while the Trojan horse succeeded in breaching their hitherto impenetrable walls. However, in Kelly’s version, the Trojans ended the war on their terms, ensuring the downfall of the Greeks with their dying breaths. I would implore you to read the first installment in the saga of these unsung heroes and be a part of their last battle.
I loved how each character came alive under Daniel Kelly’s skilled writing. Priam the Trojan king’s kindness shone brightly in contrast to the endless greed of the Greek king, Agamemnon. Kelly described Achilles, the great hero, as a human being full of compassion, and at times, uncertainty and grief. Apart from the famous heroes, Kelly also introduced many commanders from Troy and Myrmidon, whose feats of bravery left lasting impressions. Diomedes, a Trojan orphan taken captive by Achilles, made me realize how oppressive it must have been for the commoners to live under the siege. Entire generations grew up knowing nothing but a state of war along with a scarcity of essential supplies. Kelly described the Trojan war with vivid details, thus transporting readers to a different era. He also envisioned an ending that deviated from the legendary epics yet seemed even more intriguing. I would recommend The Fall of the Phoenix, a masterpiece of speculative fiction, to any reader interested in history and mythology.