Barry Unsworth's new novel stands the world on its head as a cast of Homeric characters find their high-sounding principles clashing with private motives. . .
The Trojan War is about to break out, and Agamemnon will do anything to enable the Greek fleet to set sail with the wind behind him. Even the sacrifice of his daughter Iphigeneia is not too much to ask.
This, however, is a very modern cast of Homeric characters, and throwing off the heroic values we expect of them, they have embraced the political ethos of the twenty-first century and speak in words we recognise as our own.