Cursed by the Sea God (Odyssey of a Slave: Book II).
Cursed by the Sea God
(Odyssey of a Slave: Book II)
written by Patrick Bowman
Ronsdale Press, 2013
978-1-55380-186-3 (pb) $11.95
for Grades 6 to 9
Fiction / Ancient Greece / Adventure
The young Trojan Alexi, a slave of the Greek general Odysseus, continues to travel with his captors in the second volume of Bowman's retelling of The Odyssey. This leg of the trip includes a visit to the creepy King Aeolus and his court controlled by the winds, a narrow escape from horrific man-eating creatures, months with the enchantress Circe, a trip to Hades to consult the seer Tiresias and a terrifying trip between Scylla and Charybdis that nearly finishes off the crew. As the tale ends, it looks as if Odysseus, Aliki and the few remaining crew have escaped the lush island where some of Odysseus's men slaughtered a few of the island's cattle in contravention of their general's orders. But Bowman suggests that this story is not finished and the consequences will be felt in the third book of the trilogy.
As with the first book in this series (Torn from Troy), Bowman offers fast-paced adventure, humour, lots of gory details and an accurate and imaginative refashioning of Homer's story. This book feels like a bridge between the first book and the final one, but readers will look forward to the third book to find out what will happen to Aliki and whether he will find the sister he now believes is alive. And those who know that Odysseus arrived home in Ithaca alone will be intrigued to see how Bowman wraps up the story for both his young protagonist and the general.