Thank you, Ellie and Canelo for sending me a copy of Athena's Champion by Cath Mayo and David Hair for free in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you for joining me on my day of the blog tour for Athena's Champion grab a biscuit and a cuppa, I’ve got a Spotlight (Here) and then a mini review (possible spoilers) just for you.
This book fills my inner mythological Greek history geek with excitement and joy that I haven’t experienced in this genre for a while looking at you Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and Arrowheart by Rebecca Sky. Any book that has Greek gods and mythology I’m going to be slightly bias.
Athena’s Champion tells the story of Odysseus as a young man the young Prince Odysseus has his world torn apart when the oracle at Pytho reveals a secret that leads to his being outcast from his family. Odysseus has long been a favourite hero of mine and when I saw this book and read the blurb did I just knew that I had to read the book. Odysseus is offered sanctuary by the Goddess Athena and is swiftly drawn into a war between the Olympians.
This retelling, however, deals with the events that lead up to the Trojan War and explains why the Greeks were so quarrelsome. It’s apparent that the authors did their research as they told of the events and arguments amongst the Gods that lead up to the Trojan War. I really liked this new take on Odysseus life and how he learns more about the world and about the Gods. The authors created a plausible young Odysseus, it doesn’t feel out of place or character and they expand on the idea in Greek mythology that the Gods and Goddesses constantly meddled in the lives of mortals, and used them as pawns, to win favour with Zeus, start wars, gain worshippers, etc. Odysseus is a theios, “god-touched” awakened by Athena that offered him her protection and Once Odysseus has sworn his allegiance to Athena, he is automatically regarded with enmity by other members of the Olympian family.
When young Odysseus no longer even has the safety of his own family, he is forced to spend far more time than he’d like with Athena’s other champion, the mighty Theseus. I like how the myth of Prometheus is added to the story and the struggle between the Gods for power. You might think a story about Odysseus would be hard to breathe new life into, but Athena’s Champion uses Theseus’ abduction of Helen as a template. I like the fact that the events leading up to the Trojan War are not just explained by the gods’ insecurities, but also by Troy’s economic growth. There were several references, such as Jason and the Argonauts and the Battle of Thermopylae between Sparta and the Persian Empire. Think of this book as a prequel to the infamous Iliad by Homer.
As a big fantasy fan historical fiction fan was this book a real winner for me. The authors brought Ancient Greece back to life and I can’t wait to read the next book in the Olympus Series. The writing style was very direct and just focused on the action and dialogue, Hair and Mayo craft an imaginative conflict that tangibly threatens both the Gods and those sworn to their service. The development of characters, that you'll recognize from Greek myths and legends. David Hair and Cath Mayo have written a great book that makes me eager to get the next book in the series however Sometimes I felt it went its own way with Homer’s original story, nevertheless, the authors always manage to bring the story back to the original. Overall the descriptions of characters, events and places were well executed.