The high comedy of seeing Achilles pretend to be a dancing woman (His mother forced him, to hide him from the Greeks who were assembling an army to lay siege to Troy) is behind. The Greeks send Odysseus to find him, and find him Odysseus does.
Now, Achilles prepares for battle.
pp. 188 – 189 of The Song of Achilles:
Peleus (Achilles’s father) pays for “a small fortune in armor”: “hammered bronze breastplates . . . horsehair plumed helms, a silver-forged sword . . . and two-light-wheeled chariots. With this came a four-horse team, including the pair given to Peleus by the gods at his wedding: Xanthos and Balios . . . and their eyes rolled white with impatience whenever they were not free to run . . . ” as well as “a charioteer, a boy younger than we were, but sturdily built and said to be skilled with headstrong horses. Automedon, his name was. Finally, last of all: a long spear, ash sapling peeled of bark and polished until it glowed like gray flame. From Chiron, Peleus said, handing it to his son.”
Self was not that engaged by this novel’s beginning, but the novel has continued to chip away at her expectations and now that battle is soon to be joined (self knows Achilles will have a very heroic death, but self is very much looking forward to reading Madeline Miller’s take), she is ALL IN.