As in The Skies of Crete and Ring the Judas Bell, this is a study of war as it was fought in Greece, where civilians were...

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THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES

As in The Skies of Crete and Ring the Judas Bell, this is a study of war as it was fought in Greece, where civilians were directly involved in violence. The setting here is Cyprus during the rebellion which erupted in the mid-1950's. The heroine is seventeen year old Elena, and she and her companions exemplify the state of a country in which there are almost as many varieties of strongly-felt loyalties as there are people. Her best friends are Phaethon, the young man she had hoped to marry, whose loyalties to the idea of enosis become exaggerated by his growing involvement with the unyielding terrorist organization EOKA; Raphael, who was determined to preserve his neutrality and to stay out of the fighting despite the dangers involved; and Jamal, a Turk. Also affecting her are Father Grikos, who is a vigorously militant priest, her cowardly father, and her tubercular, neglected mother. Her confusion about duty, which culminates in a renunciation of violence, is described with intensity. Teenage readers will also find striking the portrayal of the close involvement felt by the youths of Cyprus in the turmoil of attempting to determine their country's destiny. This is not as effective as Ring the Judas Bell, however, since the events, especially at the end, are sometimes confusing and Elena's personal resolution seems anti-climactic.

Pub Date: April 15, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1966