What a bloodbath! The body count must be in the thousands! Heroes, Gods, sacrifices, prayers, death, blood, weapons, shields - black metal wishes
it were as badass as The Iliad! Aesthetically, The Iliad is pure fucking metal!
But the lord of men Agamemnon sacrificed a fat rich ox,
five years old, to the son of mighty Cronus, Zeus,
and called the chiefs of all the Argive forces:
Nestor first and foremost, then King Idomeneus,
the Great and Little Ajax, Tydeus' son Diomedes
and Odysseus sixth, a mastermind like Zeus.
The lord of the war cry Menelaus came uncalled
Those are the main players for the Achaens, minus Achilles who is crying over a chick back at his boat. On the Trojan's side you have King Hector and his bitch brother, Paris.
Quickly notching the sharp arrow on the string
he swore to Apollo, Wolf-god, glorious Archer,
he'd slaughter splendid victims, newborn lambs
when he marched home to Zelea's sacred city.
How refreshing to read a book where the characters have no second thoughts.
At last the armies clashed at one strategic point,
they slammed their shields together, pike scraped pike
with the grappling strength of fighters armed in bronze
and their round shields pounded, boss on welded boss,
and the sound of struggle roared and rocked the earth.
Screams of men and cries of triumph breaking in one breath,
fighters killing, fighters killed, and the ground streamed in blood.
Wildly as two winter torrents raging down from the mountains,
swirling into a valley, hurl their great waters together,
flash floods from the wellsprings plunging down in a gorge
and miles away in the hills a shepherd hears the thunder-
so from the grinding armies broke the cries and crash of war.
At last, a book where battle is celebrated and both sides are given their due. This is like a Graveland album. You're not IN the battle, you're ABOVE the battle, surveying everything. It's grim but it's also glorious, you can't help but smile, because this is as it should be.
Brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus teach us about teamwork:
And the iron warrior brought his brother round-
rough justice, fitting too.
Menelaus shoved Adrestus back with a fist,
powerful Agamemnon stabbed him in the flank
and back on his side the fighter went, faceup.
The son of Atreus dug a heel in his heaving chest
and wrenched the ash spear out.
Here's an excerpt from my favorite chapter, "Marauding Through the Night." Diomedes and Odysseus team up for a daring mission into hostile territory at night! They pray to the Gods for good fortune:
Their prayers rose and Pallas Athena heard them.
Once they'd appealed to Zeus' mighty daughter,
into the black night they went like two lions
stalking through the carnage and the corpses,
through piles of armor and black pools of blood.