Great Fanbase, Great Story.
What can I say. It's an epic. It's The Epic. You know the plot, but if not, go to a library. Read it. NOW!
One of the problems I saw with this is that there's just too many characters with no backstory or characterizations. They don't seem real, and their deaths don't really have an emotional effect. However, the characters that are characterized are larger than life. Their deaths bring you to tears. Especially Hector, the best character in the story. Hector's death is even worse because it ends the Iliad, and you just know that without him, troy is doomed.
The characters I hated the most were Paris and Helen. Paris is a moron who chose having a girlfriend over Omniscience and being All Powerful. Helen is a brainless, but oddly Woobiesh, girl who is so pretty she makes Mary Sue
look like a dump. Together they cause one of the biggest tragedies in mythology.
My favorites were Hector and Odysseus. They're both smart men forced against their will into a war they disagreed with.
A lot of the best known elements aren't actually in this book, but a lot of great things no one seems to know about are here also. Like that King Priam of Troy had 50 children, 49 of which didn't betray him and join the invading Greeks.
That realistic ending, were some sympathetic folks lose, while others win, is one reason The Iliad
is so sucessful.
I found The Iliad
to be an immensely enjoyable read, despite it's length. I had fun reading it. However, many of the characters, such as Achilles, and Agamemnon are total jerks, with few or no sympathetic points. It was hard not to instinctively root for the Trojans, especially Hektor. It's an interesting idea, that when the "Heroes" are unsympathetic and the "Villains" are better than them. We know the heroes will win, but we don't want them to.
I believe that you owe it to yourself to read this, despite the length and hardness. This is a book that will make you think about many different things in many different ways. I've read it at least fifteen times, and every time I learn a lot and get many different impressions. It's never the same twice. Read the sequel, called The Odyssey
, which some say is better. I would also recommend that you read the other legends associated with The Iliad
and the Trojan War as well. So read the Iliad, and "sing, o muse of the wrath of Achilles".