David Gemmell sadly passed away after completing about 90,000 words of the third and final volume of his Troy Trilogy. Fall of Kings was completed by his wife, Stella (who was his editor and researcher throughout the trilogy), and published at the end of 2007.
We pick up after the events of Shield of Thunder. The Great Green is beset by war. Agamemnon and his allies (including the reluctant Odysseus) have secured most of the west and are now poised to strike directly at Troy itself. Hektor is leading the effort to dislodge their armies to the south, whilst Banokles - very reluctantly - is commanding forces to the north. Helikaon is ordered to sea, to take Kassandra to the island of Thera, but along the way he meets Odysseus and is drawn into a side-adventure to Ithaka.
Fall of Kings is a worthy conclusion to the trilogy. It's very difficult to tell where David Gemmell left off this work and his wife took over, and it's probably for the best to ignore that diversion and just enjoy the story. This book is, predictably, the story of the siege and fall of Troy, and frankly it may now have to be classified as the definitive modern retelling of the myth. The duel between Hektor and Achilles is here, but with a very interesting spin placed on it, whilst the fate of Helen is beautifully depicted. But it's the end of the book, particularly the last stand of the survivors within the palace of Troy, which will probably live longest in the memory.
Fall of Kings (****) is definitely not quite as polished as the prior two books in the series, but finding out the fates of the characters we have grown to know and love over the course of the trilogy more than makes up for any (minor) weaknesses in the prose. This is a fitting end to a monumental story of war, love and honour, and a grand retelling of one of the greatest myths of all time. Thoroughly reccomended.
The book is available from Corgi in the UK and from Ballantaine in the USA.