Black Ships Before Troy

Rosemary Sutcliff, Author, Alan Lee, Illustrator Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $24.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-385-31069-7
Sutcliff, who died last year, authored numerous retellings of canonical texts for younger readers. Here she brings into vivid focus the mythic story of the Trojan War, with all of its visually dramatic elements. While carefully tempering the bias towards the Greeks that exists in the original poem, Sutcliff's text leaves many of the epic's powerful metaphors intact: ``The dark tide of warriors poured through and became a river of flame.'' Also preserved are a good many disturbing images (``Hector's body was dragged behind them, twisting and lurching over the rough ground, his dark hair flying and fouled with dust and all the filth of the battlefield''); and while there is no doubt that this authenticity maintains the saga's integrity and enhances its impact, younger or particularly sensitive readers may be disturbed by the violence. Accompanying the dense, earnestly told tale are Lee's cool-toned watercolors, which frequently take up the greater portion of the large format double-page spreads. Dreamy, yet highly detailed and filled with representational images, these illustrations are in keeping with the story's mythic grandeur. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-7737-3110-3
Prebound-Other - 149 pages - 978-0-606-34581-1
Hardcover - 978-1-85549-787-0
Paperback - 142 pages - 978-1-84507-827-0
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-7112-0778-3
Library Binding - 151 pages - 978-0-385-90935-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 151 pages - 978-0-553-49483-9
Prebound-Glued - 151 pages - 978-1-4177-1595-4
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