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Andromache pleads with her Trojan husband Hector not to leave her and their infant son to go back to fight Achilles. She has already endured the sack of her home city by Achilles, and seen the slaughter of her father and seven brothers, and the enslavement of her mother. He hopes only to be dead before he has to hear her screams.

We then see that the fall of a city is the end of a story only for the male warriors: some leave triumphant and others lie there dead.

Can Homer's Iliad speak across the centuries?

Barker keeps the main bones of the Homeric poem in place, supplementing Homer at the end of the story with Euripides. We never get as close to Achilles as we do to Briseis, but he is a compelling figure in his fascinating combination of brutality and civility. But Achilles, however fascinating he may be, is not at the centre of this story. The novel provides a moving, thought-provoking version of what is perhaps the most famous moment of The Iliad : when the old king Priam makes his way, alone and unarmed, through the enemy camp, to plead with Achilles to give back the mutilated body of his son, Hector.

I spread my legs for the man who killed my husband and my brothers. In the hands of a lesser writer, it could have felt preachy. A person, not just an object to be looked at and fought over. This central historical insight feels entirely truthful. This book is phenomenal. It's a well-paced, well-plotted mystery, but it's also so much more than that. It's an exploration on family, about what loyalty means, and is just gorgeously written.

I felt like I was in 's Korea, traveling alongside Seol. I could not recommend this book more highly -- I'm so excited for it to get into the world and for other people to have the opportunity to read it. An absolutely stunning debut. Oct 01, Becca rated it it was amazing. Every detail feels true.

The Silence Within

You're in another time entirely. This book is a master class in atmosphere. Seol is an amazing protagonist. And she twists that to her advantage.

A slaughter in silence

I LOVED watching this fierce girl who everyone kept underestimating unravel the mystery right under their noses haha, book joke. This book also expertly explores the way people can surprise or disappoint us when we cling to our own internal, romanticized image of them. When our shining, nostalgia-wrapped image is confronted with reality—and we realize that even the people we love have an ugly side.

I'm still thinking about it weeks later. You'll want this in Trust me.


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Aug 23, Fallon DeMornay rated it it was amazing. June has created a work of art with this breathtaking debut. Sounds intriguing Jun 18, lady victoriana marked it as to-read Shelves: tbr-ya-urban-fantasy. Sep 10, Roselle rated it it was amazing. This is a beautiful, historical mystery rich with details.

I love Hur's writing style and how evocative and attentive she is to the era. She kept me guessing from beginning to end. After I finished, I was satisfied with how she developed the overall mystery and subplots and how everything came together well. I highly recommend this to mystery and historical fiction lovers. Sep 03, Shaylin Fox rated it it was amazing.

This book goes well beyond lovely, to the point that I can only describe it with words like "innovative", "brilliant" and "haunting". The setting and writing are atmospheric, and as a Western reader, I felt utterly transported to a world that, while fresh and unfamiliar, felt tangibly intimate when seen through the eyes of the main character, Seol. I could smell the mists of dynasty-era Korea, and as the story moves gracefully through the twists and turns of the murder mystery at its heart, I gra This book goes well beyond lovely, to the point that I can only describe it with words like "innovative", "brilliant" and "haunting".

I could smell the mists of dynasty-era Korea, and as the story moves gracefully through the twists and turns of the murder mystery at its heart, I gradually fell in love with both the world and its characters.

Prophetic vocation and message

This is an amazing debut from this author, and should not be missed. Oct 19, Maria Dong rated it it was amazing. This book is so amazing. It's a high-stakes twisty mystery, where almost everybody could be the killer, and every loyalty could get you killed. It's a historical with a lush and well-realized setting, in an incredibly interesting time and place.

Human Pages – The Best of History, Literature, Art & Religion

I'm so glad I got a chance to read this book early, and I can't wait for the next thing by this author! Jan 29, Rachel Kellis rated it it was amazing.

Kindle Editions

Review to come, as soon as I scrape all of my emotions back together. Dec 31, Shaylin Gandhi rated it it was amazing. This is a hauntingly beautiful mystery set in feudal Korea; it gets under your skin and doesn't leave. A must read! Oct 11, Evan Clark rated it it was amazing. Review to come. Aug 28, Kim Scupham rated it it was amazing. This book is such a good read!


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  • The world of the book is so deeply immersive, rare, and told with such authenticity. What I love best about the book is Seol - she's complex, curious, and empathetic in such a way that you can't help but root for her. Bring it on. Aug 23, Nicole N. A Myriad of Books marked it as to-read Shelves: releases. Historical fiction set in my motherland? There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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    Young Adult. About June Hur. June Hur. Books by June Hur.