Rosemary Suttcliff was a matchless writer of historical fiction. She wrote for all ages from nine to ninety. She died in 1992 at the age of 71.
Gr 5-8‘As with Black Ships Before Troy (Delacorte, 1993), Sutcliff's retelling of The Illiad, the story of The Odyssey is presented in an accessible, enjoyable format. A brief prologue sets the scene after the fall of Troy. The chapters, each of which tells of a challenge Odysseus faced, are not episodic, but rather come together as a continuing story. Sutcliff creates an intimate portrait of a man whose greatest desire is to return to his wife and home, despite great temptations. He is portrayed as a conquering hero-god, but with a touch of sadness. The reteller uses storytelling techniques to engage readers and the language and rhythm of a bard to maintain the story's flow. The detailed watercolor illustrations are dreamlike and soft-edged. They set the mood for the essence of particular episodes and display the horrors of battle where appropriate. Reading the first book would clarify Odysseus's entire tale, but is not necessary to the enjoyment of this volume. The pronunciation guide and map are helpful. Readers will enjoy this classic adventure, and they may be inspired to explore Greek mythology further.‘Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
"Suteliff's rich, gutsy and often terrifying retelling of the Odyssey is brilliantly matched by the strength of Alan Lee's sinuous drawing and the subtle intensity of his palette." The Guardian