dinsdag 11 juli 2017

"King of Ithaca" by Glyn Iliffe

"The great beast shifted across the stone floor not two strides away from them. Eperitus realised this was no mere snake but an animal of supernatural proportions. Fighting the urge to take out his sword, he dared to turn his head and behold the full horror of the monster."

"King of Ithaca" is the first in the six-book series "Adventures of Odysseus", which retells the story of mythical Greek hero Odysseus. In the small kingdom of Ithaca, the deceitful Eupeithes threatens to overthrow the aging king Laertes. The best way of protecting Laertes's dynasty seems to be to put his son Odysseus on the throne, but most agree that the young warrior should find a wife first. The titular hero travels to Sparta in a bid to win Helen's hand - the most beautiful woman in the world - and gain the support of Sparta. But there are a lot of other suitors.

These days, there's a tendency in fiction to de-mythologise - ancient tales are told as if they were history, taking all supernatural elements out of the story (Bernard Cornwell's "Warlord" trilogy or Colleen McCullough's "Song of Troy" come to mind). Not so with this story. There are encounters with gods, clashes with giant monsters, love potions, people raised from the dead ... The author uses the myths to great effect, but adds quite a lot to them. In fact, most if this first book stems from the author's imagination (what's a kraken doing in a book about Greek mythology?). So this is not a series you want to read if you want to learn about Greek mythology. Read it as an exciting adventure or fantasy story and you'll be fine.

Author: Glyn Iliffe
Title: King of Ithaca (Adventures of Odysseus)
Publisher: Pan, London
Year: 2009 (orig. 2008)
Number of pages: 384 p.
ISBN: 9780330452496

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