A richly rewarding sequel, The Women of Troy offers a further bold and necessary reinterpretation of an ancient tale while at the same time chronicling the next dramatic chapter in Briseis' untold story ... The narrative is at its most absorbing when Briseis is on the page and observing the scheming and infighting among the Greek men and the resilience and bravery of the Trojan women. She is a wonderful creation. With luck, Barker is already planning her next move.
In this sequel...Barker has stepped free of the masculinist epic tradition ... This is a story not of conflict but of its aftermath. It is grim ... Barker’s language in this new book is plain, crude and modern ... Blunt and brutal, this kind of language fits with the intent, shared by Barker and her spokesperson, Briseis, to tell truths about violence and slavery without the prettiness of costume drama or the mollifying varnish of a literary high style ... Clearly and simply told, with no obscurities of vocabulary or allusion, this novel reads sometimes like a retelling for children of the legend of Troy, but its conclusions are for adults – merciless, stripped of consoling beauty, impressively bleak.
Barker’s portraits of Pyrrhus as the anti-hero and Briseis as the unsung heroine sometimes falter through misjudged similes and metaphors ... If Barker does write a third book in this series she will have produced a classical trilogy to complement, perhaps even rival, Regeneration.