Gods and Warriors – Michelle Paver

During the Bronze Age in ancient Greece, scrappy orphan Hylas, branded an outsider and banished from the village, has kept himself and his sister alive by tending goats.  The story opens with Hylas running for his life after losing his sister while being pursued by warriors.  He escapes to the sea. Why have these warriors come after him, an orphaned goatherd?  Meanwhile, in another part of Greece, Pirra, the pampered daughter of the High Priestess learns she has been promised in marriage.  During the journey to her future home, she escapes to the sea.  Hylas and Pirra discover each other on an isolated island and struggle for survival.  The same warriors chasing Hylas are also determined to recover Pirra.

I hope the published book contains a map!  Gods and Warriors is set during the Bronze Age in ancient Greece, well before the times of classic Greek mythology.  I spent time searching for a map to help me better understand the setting.  When I finished the last chapter, there it was – the answer to all of my questions.  Ms. Paver provides a splendid setting explanation in the Afterword.  She does not give too much of the story away, so if, after reading the opening chapter, a better understanding of the setting is desired, go ahead and skim the bits about Bronze Age Greece.  I am a huge fan of Paver’s Chronicles of Ancient DarknessGods and Warriors is even better!  All of the characters – Hylas, Pirra, Chieftain’s son Telamon, and Spirit the dolphin, had better be in the next book.  And what is the fate of Hylas’s lost sister?  Highly recommend.

eGalley review   Publication date  9.4.12

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