cover image The Prince and the Golden Ax: A Minoan Tale

The Prince and the Golden Ax: A Minoan Tale

Deborah Nourse Lattimore. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023715-8

Lattimore follows up her winning tale, The Flame of Peace , with this new one, inspired by the Minoan ruins on the island of Crete. She constructs a story of the destruction of Thera, centering the plot on a young prince who boasts in a most unholy fashion about his own powers instead of paying respect to the Goddess Diktynna. He is given feats to perform, and is successful only because of his sister's carefully administered charms. When he enters the sacred grounds of the blue monkeys, even his sister can't save him, and through his folly, Minoan civilization is lost. Depicted in an exotic setting that hints at the significant symbols of Minoan culture, each frame has the look of a fresco painting. The storytelling is sure and steady, as though this were a familiar myth retold, rather than a novel creation. Despite the choice of stylized forms, the remote past is animated again and its players dance freely through the pages. Ages 5-8. (September)