King of Ithaca – how to make one of the greatest Mythological characters look ridiculous
King of Ithaca promises to be another action-filled take on the Homerian Epic. There has been a share of adaptations to the story of the Trojan war, most focussing on the Iliad rather than the Odyssey. That was why I was so happy to see there was finally a series of books that focusses on our beloved Odysseus. It looked promising: historical fiction, lots of action, and most important: Odysseus! It’s a miracle not more fiction is written about Odysseus and his adventures, so I had my hope on this series. …But how was I wrong and disappointed.
The comments were positive in general, some even stating “If you loved David Gemmell’s Troy series, you’ll love this book”. – I loved the Troy series, but comparing this to it, that’s a huuuuge insult. Doesn’t even come close. Lesson learned; don’t trust user reviews.
The book started OK-ish, but it just didn’t get me. In stead of Ody being the main protagonist, there was also another -not really grown-up- guy in search of glory etc. etc. Can’t even remember his name. That’s how much it got me. A better developped character of Odysseus (and the others) would’ve been nice, to add some more depth to theire personae.
And what’s with all the ‘handsome’ guys?!? More or less everybody but Ody and Little Ajax was described as such. That’s getting really annoying…
The characters were changed from Homer’s descriptions. Once again, nothing wrong with that, but you just have to be able to do it. All of the characters were annoying in his/her own way. That makes it hard to sympathize.
To me the writing style feels like it’s been written by a 16 y/o. If that would’ve been the case: good book! But no…. Too much focus on the battles and gore. Some people can, but Iliffe can’t, at least not in this installment.
Obviously, this book/series is not for me going to be the new epic about the Trojan war. It appears that o one can beat Gemmell. Still it’s a pity that this book just didn’t have the right feeling to become a new epic/cool book. Guess I’m a little bit biased by having read David Gemmell’s epic Troy series.
So, if you’re new to the genre/mythology in general, and/or between 16-20 y/o, you might have a chance to like this book.
One last more positive comment; the book had its moments and the author definitely knows his classics. Throughout the book you can learn some details about ancient Greece, which is sometimes carried out nicely. But unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the poor emotional standards of the characters or the not so intruiging storyline.
Unfortunately a missed opportunity!