cover image Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess

George O’Connor, First Second, $9.99 paper (76p) ISBN 978-1-59643-432-5

Following the first book in the Olympians series, Zeus: King of the Gods, this volume begins with a quick summary of the previous tale, before moving on to the story of the goddess of wisdom. O’Connor does a nice job of using the three Fates to do the serious storytelling of the myth, while incorporating casual, fun dialogue between characters and making the portrayal of the difficult friendship between Athena and her best friend, Pallas, daughter of Triton, relatable to modern readers. In the emotional scenes in which the two fight in a tournament and Athena accidentally stabs her friend, the two girls’ faces are expressive and clear, showing all the love, fear, and guilt they feel. The necessarily episodic story moves lightly from one narrative to another, with endnotes that give concise and clear explanations of the myths and their characters. O’Connor also gives some information about the lives of women in ancient Greece, noting, “I’m glad I live in a time when girls can be more like Athena,” thus bringing the story into the here-and-now for its readers. Ages 9–up. (Apr.)