THE ADVENTURES OF ACHILLES by Hugh Lupton
Kirkus Star

THE ADVENTURES OF ACHILLES

Age Range: 11 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two veteran storytellers give one of mythology’s greatest warriors his due in a narrative rich in drama, tragedy, intense emotion and heroic feats of arms.

Thoroughly recast from an award-winning audio version (2004; included with the hardcover edition), this companion to the authors’ Adventures of Odysseus (illustrated by Christina Balit, 2006) retells the classic tale of Achilles’ meteoric career in staccato, muscular prose. “He was fed on the marrow of bears to make him strong, the guts of lions to make him fierce, and the milk of deer to make him swift.” Stylized border and panel paintings of gods and mortals seen in profile or posed groups are reminiscent of figures on ancient Greek vases. The profound attachment between Achilles and Patroclus (begun during the former’s five-year stint disguised as a woman and ending with their ashes mingled in the same funerary urn) forms the emotional centerpiece of the tale. Otherwise, veiled behind lines like “they took their delight of one another,” the sex among the large cast of gods and mortals is less explicit than the battle action before and within Troy’s walls. Echoes of Homeric language can be found in references to Zeus, the “Cloud Compeller,” “ox-eyed Hera” and the like. Despite its particular focus on Achilles, this compelling narrative delivers a reasonably complete picture of the Trojan War’s causes, course and violent end.

Epic in deed and scope and a-bustle with larger-than-life characters, this retelling of the Iliad will rivet both readers and listening audiences. (bibliography) (Folktale/mythology. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84686-420-9
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Barefoot
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




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