cover image Gods and Warriors

Gods and Warriors

Michelle Paver. Dial, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3877-5

Paver (the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series) tells the engrossing story of 12-year-old Hylas, a poor goatherd in Bronze Age Greece, who is attacked, along with his fellow outcast Outsiders, by the Crows, black-garbed soldiers led by the warrior Kratos. When Hylas makes a desperate bid to escape by sea, he is saved by “an enormous fish [that] burst from the waves in a rain of blue fire—but it wasn’t a fish, it was a dolphin.” Washing ashore on the mysterious Island of the Goddess, Hylas meets Pirra, the daughter of a high priestess, who is also on the run, in her case from a forced marriage. Working through mistrust and misunderstandings—and aided by a dolphin, Spirit—Hylas and Pirra work to survive the island’s perils and defeat Kratos. Hylas and Pirra are engaging heroes, and Spirit stands out as an especially intriguing character. First in a planned series, Paver’s story should appeal easily to lovers of historical fantasy (and, of course, Percy Jackson fans) with its polished blend of action, ancient history, and myth. Ages 10–up. Agent: Peter Cox, Redhammer. (Sept.)