Lukka, a Hittite warrior, returns to the Hittite capital city to find it engulfed in civil war, his father murdered, and his wife and two young sons taken away by slavers. Along with a small cadre of soldiers under his command, Lukka launches an epic search for his family, which leads him to the gates of Troy as it is beseiged by the army of Agamemnon. Bova then proceeds to an original retelling of the final stages of the legendary Trojan War. In this account, Lukka serves as a literary mirror, revealing the personalities of some well-known characters, with a few surprising results. Odysseus, predictably, is practical, crafty, and a natural survivor in treacherous waters. Achilles is a born killer, but he is shown as short and ugly, and his death is decidedly unheroic. Helen is, of course, the babe of all babes, but she is also petty and whiny.