Monday, August 11, 2014

Audiobook Review: Torn from Troy by Patrick Bowman

Torn from Troy
Author: Patrick Bowman
Narrator: Gerard Doyle
Series: Odyssey of a Slave: Book 1
Publication: Audible, June 19, 2013

Description: Two-and-a half millennia after it was created, Homer's Odyssey remains one of humanity's most memorable adventure stories. In this re-creation of Homer's classic as a young adult novel, we see the aftermath of the Trojan War through the eyes of Alexi, a fifteen-year-old Trojan boy. Orphaned by the war and enslaved by Odysseus himself, Alexi has a very different view of the conquering heroes of legend.

Despite a simmering anger towards his captors, Alexi gradually develops a grudging respect for them. As the Greeks fight off the angry Cicones, weather a storm that pushes them far beyond charted waters, and nearly succumb to the blandishments of the bewitching Lotus-eaters, he realizes that they are not the demons they were said to be, but people like himself.

At the same time, Alexi's quick thinking, bravery, and the healing skills that he learned from his father prove to his captors that he is no ordinary slave. His key role in their escape from the Cyclops earns the respect of his master, Odysseus, and a striking discovery during their escape gives his life a newfound purpose.

Straddling the boundary between historical fiction and mythology, Torn from Troy is written in a hard, realistic style and brings to life the travails of a bronze-age slave of the Greeks in a form that will appeal especially to teen boys. While this book is the first volume of the author's Odyssey of a Slave trilogy, it is a compelling and fully-realized work on its own.

My Thoughts: Once I got used to the idea that the Greeks and the Trojans all had British accents, I enjoyed this adventure story which is a retelling of the Odyssey from the point of view of a captured Trojan slave.

The book begins with the sacking of Troy when 15-year-old Alexi watches his older sister killed and then runs and hides from the Greek invaders. He is captured and made a slave to Odysseus. He also makes an enemy of one of the Greek soldiers whose name I heard as Yuri. (The one disadvantage I have found to listening to audio books is not knowing how names are spelled.) Alexi's quick temper and disdain for the Greeks makes his first days as a slave difficult.

They have all sorts of adventures from storms at sea to encounters with the Lotus-Eaters and a cyclops. Because this is a continuing series, the further adventures told in the Odyssey will be parts of later books.

I liked the action. I liked the way Alexi gradually became friends with one of the young Greek soldiers. I liked the portrayal of Odysseus as a man who told two lies every time he opened his mouth. I liked that Alexi had learned about healing from his father. I thought the information about the way the Greeks and Trojans worshipped their gods was interesting.

Adventure loving students will enjoy this book and might even be tempted to read the Odyssey to find out what happens next.

I downloaded this audiobook from SYNC. You can buy your copy here.

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