In this new volume in David Gemmell's epic retelling of the Trojan War, Agamemnon, bloodthirsty king of the Mykene, tightens his noose around the glittering prized city of Troy. Agamemnon uses the forced wedding of Princess Andromache and Hektor, son of Troy's prideful King Priam, as a pretext to sow discord among his enemies. On the beach where the ships of the great kings who have come to honor the royal marriage are anchored, warriors compete in athletic contests, while in the alleys and palaces of the city, spies and assassins play a deadlier game.
At the center of it all is Andromache, the Shield of Thunder, marked at birth by Athena and prophesied to bear the Eagle Child - a son who will reign "till end of days, and fall of kings." With her beloved Helikaon lying gravely wounded and near death, Andromache must hide her feelings from Hektor and from King Priam, who lusts after her for himself, determined that he - and no other - will father the Eagle Child.
Meanwhile, Odysseus, the wily leader of Ithaka, is maneuvered into an impossible choice between friendship and honor. And as the battle lines are drawn, a new character steps onto the stage, a fearless warrior of godlike strength and ferocity, eager to test himself against the mighty Hektor. His name: Achilles.