Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Review: A Thousand Ships

I'm a sucker for sugar-coated culture. If there's a sub-par thriller with interesting science behind it, I'm there. Michael Crichton used to fulfill part of this for me (although lately he's gone a little off the deep end, and by lately I mean in the past decade). Now it's the occasional cultural comic boo ... I mean, graphic novel. Age of Bronze Volume 1: A Thousand Ships is the first of seven books projected to cover the stories surrounding the Trojan War, and it's even better than I hoped.

This first book follows the abduction of Helen, the assembling of armies, the hiding and discovery of Achilles, and Agamemnon and Menelaus setting sail for Troy. The gods are offstage: prophecies and dreams are very important to the story, but all the action and true motivators are human. In doing so this makes it much more immediate, because it's easy to relate to the common impulses that the Greeks classified as deities, and not so easy to relate to the idea of those impulses being related to a powerful but flawed collection of deities.

My favorite character so far is easily Odysseus. The sequence in which he is ... well, "convinced" is not quite the right word, it's more outwitted ... to join the fleet is expertly told. The sites look like the archaeologists say they should, and the hairstyles and faces look like the human version of what's on ancient Greek pottery.

I've already got books 2 and 3 on hold from the library (I think I'm not the first who's stayed up way too late at night reading about the Trojan War), and the only disappointment is that books 4-7 aren't out yet and only come out once every 3-4 years. After 2500 years, what's another decade or two?

1 comment:

Juliet said...

How did I not know this existed until now?