I love books that are grand and have a heavy world building and there’s nothing better than the master of it all – the Greek mythology. I remember the first time I heard stories based on it – the famous Labours of Hercules. It was my uncle who narrated it to me as a bed time story. I was pretty young … less than eight I would guess but it made a pretty big impact on me. The sad part was that he forgot the last few labours and I clearly remember been sleepless wanting to know the rest of it. Time passed but I remained a fan of the mythology and as I grew up I read up on it and that’s when Rick Riordans book fell on my lap. No, not the Percy Jackson series but he had written a handbook on Greek Mythology and I read it voraciously among other encyclopaedic books on the same but even that’s been a long time and since then I have only seen movies based on the same… The clash of the titans, the immortals, Percy Jackson, Troy, Hercules ( including the series) to name a few.
For some time now I have been looking to sink myself in a good Greek Mythology book (I chanced upon Circe late but I do want to read it) and that’s when I came across Athena’s Champion. The blurb looked interesting and when I began reading I was glad I made the right choice.
The opening sequence is dramatic and makes for a good movie screenplay. I don’t know why but I always imagine scenes in a book playing out like a movie. Do you guys do that? Anyhoo back to the plot, Odysseus, Prince of Ithaca discovers that his true parentage comes from the infamous Prometheus lineage who is the God punished for sharing fire with mankind. He is hence brandished as a bastard and exiled. But the Goddess Athena gives him refuge and turns him into a Theoi as well as requires him to play a part in a mission that was propelled by the prophecy that revealed Odysseus’s true lineage at Pytho.
The story is a lot to take in especially for one who is not well versed in Greek mythology. Even I did find quiet a few names new, but having seen the above mentioned movies and my little knowledge of the myths helped me figure out who’s who as I kept reading. Its a tale for the times and the writers make it look so easy. Despite such a heavy content they make it look so effortless and even those who have no patience to read such fantasies can do it. I was admittedly apprehensive going in wondering if I will be able to complete it as my patience is unpredictable but I truly emerged satisfied at the other end.
Odysseus is a complex character but his motives are simple. He discovers so much in his course of redeeming himself and is a point of reference for us as we too learn everything anew from his view point. His journey is absolutely enriching as well as exciting. Never has a protagonist made me feel so calm and in the moment like he has. The research the authors have made is extensive and it shows.
If you are like me and like your mythology high and grand you will love this. Its absolutely breathtaking.
Thanks to NetGalley and Canelo publishers for the advanced copy.
Publication date: 8th November, 2018
Bibliogyan rating – Mythology/Fantasy lovers don’t miss it.
If you liked my review then please consider buying a copy here