The Iliad is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time. Set during the Trojan War, this timeless poem vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amid devastation and destruction. Homer's tale is a compassionate view of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and death in the face of an often uncaring divinity.
To call it a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters in the 10th and final year of the Greek siege of Troy. The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey though life. The poem centers on the Greek hero Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. Odysseus survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal wife, Penelope. The Odyssey is Homers' sequel to the Iliad.