The book starts in the belly of the beast, as the Greek soldiers wait, silently inside the wooden horse. Amongst them is Pyrrhus, son of Achilles, and now the leader of the Myrmidons, desperate to prove himself worthy and living in the shadow of the great warrior, he sets out to kill King Priam to avenge his father. Once the City falls, and the Greeks have looted it and distributed its remaining women amongst themselves they are eager to set sail for home. Unfortunately, the winds are not in their favour. As the weather becomes increasingly erratic, the conquers begin to wonder which of the Gods they may have offended and how they will placate them to get safe passage home.
The portrayal of Circe in the Odyssey is actually infuriating, she’s a beautiful nymph who lures Odysseus into bed (what else did women do in ancient times, even powerful witches) and turns his men into pigs. She uses her womanly charms to distract our innocent hero from his journey home to his wife. She is supposed to represent the dangers of excessive pleasure and comfort, and by giving her a story, by giving her a voice, Miller succeeds in creating a character that is more than a footnote in a mans quest.