King of Ithaka

Tracy Barrett, Author
Tracy Barrett, Holt, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8969-1
Reviewed on: 09/06/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-4769-5
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-312-55148-3
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Building on the events of Homer's Odyssey from the point of view of Telemachos, the 16-year-old son of the absent king Odysseus, Barrett (the Sherlock Files series) crafts a coming-of-age novel full of mythical creatures and questions about what it truly means to be a leader. Odysseus has been gone from the island kingdom of Ithaka for 16 years, since the Trojan War began, and Telemachos now must find him before his mother, Penelopeia, is forced to remarry. "I knew that Ithaka was falling into ruin and was vulnerable to attack, both from within and from without," he says. Telemachos sets sail to fulfill a cryptic prophecy ("Return to the place that is not, on the day that is not, bearing the thing that is not. On that day the king will return") with friends Brax, a centaur, and Polydora, his love interest, who accompany him through treacherous territory from Pylos to Sparta. With its focus on Telemachos's determination and growth, Barrett's tale should be an enjoyable and accessible primer for readers who've not yet read the original. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
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