Sunday, November 5, 2017

#BookReview: Return to Ithaca by Glyn Iliffe

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The thrilling final instalment of the epic and bestselling Adventures of Odysseus
Odysseus has been to Hell and back. Deserted by the Gods, and now in bitter conflict with his friend Eperitus, times look bleak. He dreams of returning to his home; to Ithaca.

But back on Ithaca things look little better. His son Telemachus and wife Penelope are besieged by a gang of suitors, believing Odysseus to be dead and looking for her hand in marriage.

Odysseus and Eperitus have survived everything. But now they face a last test, perhaps the most difficult of all… Can they reclaim what has been lost?

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆   |   Obtained from: Netegalley   |   Read: July 12, 2017
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I struggled with Glyn Iliffe’s Return to Ithaca, but I want to be very clear in that I believe much of my difficulties stemmed from opting to read the series out of order. The books are six in number, but I picked up the final volume without so much as a glance at the novels that preceded it. I knew The Odyssey well enough to feel comfortable with the material and figured it wouldn’t matter, but the reality proved my assumption grossly misplaced.

Iliffe’s characterizations are firmly established at this point and while I respect the author’s creative choices, the tone and direction of the novel are not easy for readers who haven’t followed the retelling chronologically. I felt myself at a great disadvantage with this piece and caution others from following in my footsteps.

The action was well-written and I think the series boasts a unique degree of creativity, but it should be firmly understood the novels are not stand-alones. 

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"He pondered her words and know they were true. He was no longer the man who had conquered Troy or outwitted the Cyclops. His muscles had gone to waster and his stomach had seen too many easy meals. He lacked the courage to face the sea’s treachery or brave Poseidon’s anger…"
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