cover image The Iliad

The Iliad

Gareth Hinds. Candlewick, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8113-5

In his latest graphic novel adaptation of a classic text, Hinds (The Odyssey) condenses Homer’s epic poem of gods and mortals at war, covering most of the major events and adding supplemental material that expands the story slightly beyond the original. The Trojan War has been raging for nine years when King Agamemnon slights Achilles, his best warrior, beginning a feud. A cascade of resulting tragedies leads to ever more bitter battles between the Achaean and Trojan armies, with terrible losses on both sides. Hinds takes painstaking efforts with his fine-lined watercolors to depict each character in a readily distinguishable way, even while in pitched battle, fully armored. The excellent visual guides, maps, and notes aid in this task and further contextualize the epic’s time, place, and significance. The most striking scenes are the battles, presented in intimate detail and in awe-inspiring, sweeping overviews. Hinds’s relatively plain language retains just enough meter to hint at the cadences of the work, and, together with the dynamic art, creates an accessible entrée to an enduring classic. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)