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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 233

Inside the Walls of Troy is an unusual novel about the Trojan War, shown from the points of view of its major female characters. The first part, narrated by Helen of Sparta (always referred to as such in this book), tells of her coming-of-age as the most beautiful woman in the world, her kidnapping by Theseus, her marriage to Menelaus, and her passionate affair and elopement with Paris. The sun-washed Mediterranean setting is captured in vivid images, and Helen's own warm nature and passionate reactions color all the events.

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Cassandra narrates the second part of the book which begins when the Trojan court first receives news that the royal son Paris is on his way back home after "stealing" a very willing Helen. In a terrifying prophetic vision, Cassandra is the first to realize the full implications of the abduction. Most major episodes in the war are recounted as she, watching from atop the walls, would see them; gossip from the Greek camp quickly finds its way inside the city as well and is incorporated into the account. The clash of weapons and the doom wrought by deities and treachery are not the whole of this novel, however. The quieter times, when the Trojan women cope with the siege or even try to end it through diplomacy, are shown as well. The novel gives us unique glimpses of this legendary city at war.

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Characters