The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds Candlewick The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud Hyperion Books Judged by Patricia Reilly Giff
I read THE ODYSSEY by Gareth Hinds first. Based on Homer’s epic poem, it tells of the terrible efforts King Odysseus must make to return home to Ithaca.Even holding the book is a joy, the soft blues and greens of the cover, its velvet feeling. Before reading a word, you have to wander through the pages, admiring this world.
The story is wonderfully told in the confines of space allowed in a graphic novel; captivating illustrations enhance the tale. We see the strength of Odysseus the beauty of his queen, the terrifying face of the Cyclops. The eyes of the characters are stunningly portrayed: anger, courage, longing, scheming.
I can only imagine the depths of research that went into this book. The author’s note gives us a hint of the tremendous variations in translations and questions raised by scholars that gave him leeway in telling the story while still preserving historical background.
As in many of the classics, a myriad of characters people the pages. It’s hard in the beginning to keep them straight. I found myself reading and rereading.
And each time, I found something new to admire in the writing and especially in the illustrations; I was moved particularly by the views of the sea.
But what about Jonathan Stroud’s THE RING OF SOLOMON? What about the djinni Bartimaeus? For those who aren’t familiar with djinn, …