Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff

Black Ships Before Troy

Written by Rosemary Sutcliff
Illustrated by Alan Lee

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Frances Lincoln is proud to reintroduce the inaugural Greenaway award-winning Black Ships Before Troy. Rosemary Sutcliff brings Homer's epic poem The Iliad to life.

A stunningly illustrated edition of Homer’s classic adventure story which has been vibrantly retold by the late Rosemary Sutcliff who adds her own story-telling magic to Homer’s original. The stories which led to the Greek’s siege of Troy, which include The Golden Apple, The Death of Achilles, The Wooden Horse and The Fall of Troy among many others, seamlessly weave the worlds of gods and men into one strand. Alan Lee’s illustrations evoke the heroism of the human Greek warriors – and their cruelty – while also bringing the shadowy gods convincingly to life. ~ Julia Eccleshare


Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff

Frances Lincoln is proud to reintroduce the Greenaway award-winning Black Ships Before Troy. Here is Homer's epic poem The Iliad, brought to life by Rosemary Sutcliff with all the skill of a master storyteller. Alan Lee's dramatic cover image hauntingly recreates the age of heroes in this introduction to the Greek classics--a book that should become part of every childhood.

A vivid retelling of the history of the Trojan War, including Paris's abduction of Helen, the heroics of Achilles, Ajax and Hector and the role played by Odysseus' incredible wooden horse; a perfect introduction to key stories from the Classical world


Rosemary Sutcliff had the ability to make daunting historical fiction accessible to a young readership. In this retelling of Homer's Iliad, she retains all the excitement of the original ancient Greek story, with its colourful cast of Gods and heroes. The Iliad is not an easy book, with violent battle scenes and psychological drama, but there is enough magic and charm in the story to keep even the most faint-hearted reader enthralled. Sutcliff's version is an excellent introduction to the book and anyone who enjoys this would be well advised to pick up a copy of the same author's wonderful interpretation of Homer's Odyssey, The Wanderings of Odysseus, also published by Frances Lincoln. Carousel

A magnificent achievement... if ever a book was unputdownable, whether by an adult or child, it is this bears the unmistakeable mark of a masterpiece of children's literature. ~ Times Educational Supplement

About the Author

Rosemary Sutcliff

Rosemary Sutcliff was born in Surrey, the daughter of a naval officer. At the age of two she contracted the progressively wasting Still's disease, and hence spent most of her life in a wheelchair. Her first children's book was published in 1950, and from then on she devoted her time and talents to the writing of children's historical novels, which have placed her name high in the field of contemporary children's literature. Rosemary received an OBE in the 1975 Birthday Honours List. Rosemary Sutcliff's novels about Roman Britain have won much critical acclaim. The best-known of these is her The Eagle of the Ninth trilogy, of which the second book in the trilogy, The Lantern Bearers, was awarded the 1959 Carnegie Medal. Rosemary died in 1992 at the age of 72.

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Book Info


128 pages
Interest Age: From 7 to 10 years


Rosemary Sutcliff
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Author's Website


Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

1st June 2017




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