A novel offers a historical reimagining of ancient tribes, the story of Atlantis, and the man who would become known as Poseidon, Bridler of the Sea.
Donnogen has had many names. His Amma dubbed him Little Leopard. The band of raiders he took up with after the Sea People drove away the mammoths that his tribe relied upon for survival called him Stag. The witch he paid to learn his true name referred to him simply as “Thief.” Fleeing from this revelation, Donnogen leads his group across the sea on a desperate quest to find a way to return the mammoths to their hunting grounds. He seeks a bountiful “otherworld.” A friendly stranger tells Donnogen: “The land is rich in everything a man needs. Fresh mountain springs. Green forests with delicious fruits and every kind of animal to hunt….And there’s hills rich in gold and precious gems.” Donnogen’s journey to a strange kingdom will bring him loss and force him to compromise his honor, but it will also deliver opportunity and the possibility of love. Cleito is playing her own game of power and deception at the court of her half brother King Xaneheth. Donnogen, or Poseidon as she names him, presents her with an opportunity to advance her own plans, although danger lurks as well, including involving her own heart. Peters (Banished Sons of Poseidon, 2015, etc.) brings imagination and touches of the fantastic to this tale. The inclusion of the mythic gives what might otherwise be a dry, alternate-history narrative a nice burst of the unexpected. Bits of the Atlantis legend mix with stranger elements, such as crystal skulls, barbarian gods, and exploits worthy of Greek myth. The characters are larger than life as well. Poseidon is a mighty barbarian leader, and Cleito’s a commendably strong woman with a ruthless streak. Alternating between Poseidon’s and Cleito’s points of view also gives the story a wonderful counterpoint while illuminating two very separate cultures. Unfortunately, the distinctness of the cultures does not always come through in the characters’ dialogue. But the clash of different ways of living definitely reverberates and only adds to the drama.
A fresh twist on an old sea myth, complete with magic, intrigue, and plenty of old-school adventures.