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Monday, April 04, 2022

Review: Black Ships Before Troy

 I read on some website that Black Ships Before Troy was a good retelling of The Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff.  I checked it out of the library since the copy that was illustrated by Alan Lee was long out of print and it was listed as a children's book. My kids ignored it until they started playing Hades, whereupon they suddenly became interested in Achilles, Aphrodite, Zeus, and other members of the Greek mythology. They even started calling Black Ships Before Troy the Hades book.

The art was not up to the standard I expected from Alan Lee. The story is well written, if simplified, but the content of the Iliad was unabridged. That means it's all there, the adultery, the horrific violence, cruelty, and inexplicable behavior (some of which is attributed to the gods). I read a couple of chapters a day to the kids, sometimes wincing as I did so, but they took it all in with aplomb.

I have no patience for poetry, so am unlikely to ever read The Iliad. If you're like me, this is by far the most approachable version and it's uncensored. Enjoy!

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