A thoroughly modern tale of politics, spin-doctoring, and media manipulation. As the harsh wind holds the Greek fleet trapped in the straits at Aulis, frustration and political impotence turn into a desire for the blood of a young and innocent woman - blood that will appease the gods and allow the troops to set sail. And when Iphigeneia, Agamemnon's beloved daughter, is brought to the coast under false pretences, it looks as if the ships will soon be on their way. But can a father really go to these lengths to secure political victory? And can a daughter willingly give up her life for the worldly ambitions of her father?
"Incandescent....One of the three most important British novelists at work today....It is impossible to read [this novel] without feeling an immediacy both unbearable and profound, as if this week's headlines were being incised into the conscience and the heart....Unsworth has combined several versions of the Iphigenia myth to set up an entrancing, frightening mystery." (Richard Eder, New York Times)
"Intellectually agile, thrillingly stylish...The Songs of the Kings effortlessly proves that modern life is the stuff of ancient myth." (The Guardian)
"A beautifully measured entertainment given gravity by how accurately it reflects the present political zeal to control the media." (The Independent)
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The politics of power haven't changed.
atmosphere, scheming and misogyny
The scene in which Iphigenia and her slave were discussing which of them would be the human sacrifice and why.
He captured the unique qualities of the different characters...there was no mistaking one from the other
Unsworth has become one of my favorite authors. He explores large themes in his fiction with fully developed characters who are compelling in their own right. His psychological insights are astute.