Agamemnon Must Die
Hock G. Tjoa
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The royal family of Mycenae has a bloody, monstrous history. Agamemnon returns with his war trophy, the Trojan Princess Cassandra whom he unthinkingly flaunts before his queen. After an epic sword fight in his own banquet hall, Agamemnon is killed. Cassandra has her nightmares/visions of the gory and unspeakable deeds of the House of Atreus; she is led away to be executed. Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus have their respective reasons, but this regicide must be avenged. Or so say the voices in Orestes' head. He must avenge his father. He must kill the regicides. He must kill his own mother.
But killing one's own mother would break the greatest of ancient taboos and would result in even more voices in his head. Are they just voices? Can they be placated?
Agamemnon Must Die is a story about what happens after the Trojan War, not during. It tells the tale of Clytemnestra, who wanted revenge on Agamemnon, her husband, for killing their daughter Iphigenia, solely to appease the gods and get a good wind so they could set sail to Troy. I know, in our time, that’s pretty horrific. Who would do such a thing? However, back when people worshiped more than one god, people did things like that (though I still think it’s pretty insane, personally). Basically, the book is one tragic cycle after another. One horrible situation leads to even more tragic and horrifying situation that goes on from there until we have madness, death, blood, and a Greek tragedy. The plot itself wasn’t bad. I enjoyed that. It’s not a new one for the most part although there was quite a bit I didn’t know (or remember anyway) although I’m a serious fan of all things Troy (and therefore Greek). I think the problem I had was that there were some parts that were slow. Parts that were written more like a non-fiction book than a fiction book which left me having to turn the page and skip over some parts or skim. Even at the very beginning of the book, before Agamemnon comes home, there’s a huge passage (without giving it away) that I’m really not sure what the point of it was or at least if it needed to be there, could have been culled down some as it was rather long and much of it seemed to be repetitious.
All in all though, I did enjoy Agamemnon Must Die. I just think it could be tightened up a bit.