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The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd

The Hero and the Minotaur (2005)

by Robert Byrd

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One of a number of folkloric/mythological picture-book adaptations from Robert Byrd - others include the Irish tale, Finn MacCoul and His Fearless Wife, and the Grimm fairy-tale, The Bear and the Bird King - this foray into the world of Greek mythology cobbles together two related tales: the story of the hero Theseus, his discovery of his heritage and his father, and his quest to slay the Minotaur, and free Athens from the onerous tribute that had been imposed by King Minos of Crete; and the story of the great inventor Daedalus and his son, Icarus, and their flight from captivity in Minos' palace.

I appreciated Byrd's narrative, which, despite being aimed at younger readers, didn't soften or omit some of the more disturbing incidents in these stories, from Icarus' fall to King Aegeus' suicide. I was a little surprised to see the two story strands joined in quite the way that they were, because although the are (as Byrd observes) related - both feature King Minos, and the labyrinth of the Minotaur - they're not usually paired so closely. Still, it made sense once I'd thought about it, and I enjoyed the combination, although I wish Byrd had included his specific sources. Leaving that aside, this was an engaging work of Greek mythology for the younger, picture-book set, with an engrossing text and appealing illustrations. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 26, 2013 |
Summary: The complete story of Prince Theseus from Greek mythology, including the story of Theseus' trip to Athens, Theseus and the Minotaur, Icarus and Daedalus, and King Ageus.

Genre: Myth (Greek)
  efakkema09 | Nov 9, 2011 |
Genre: Myth
This is a good example of a myth because the story is focused on heroes and gods who control natural forces, such as Poseidon who rules the sea and watches over Theseus, the hero. It is a complex plot with many characters. Most importantly, it does not seem as though it was originally intended for children, since this plot involves much death, trickery, and even suicide! Even in this form, I would struggle with whether this book is appropriate for children.
Style Review: This book is a good example of style because of the hyperbole it contains. This myth is full of exaggerations of both evil and good. Theseus is unnaturally strong, a heroic quality that is exaggerated to make readers understand his goodness. All the evil he faces is also exaggerated, so that in the face of dangers such as Sinis, so tough he could bend pine trees to the ground, Theseus stands out even more as a hero capable of hyperbolic feats of power that are far from realistic.
Media: Watercolor and ink
  mpitcairn06 | Oct 14, 2009 |
this classic tale of Theseus has beautiful illustrations and shows how several other Greek Myths are tied to, or derive from this one. Theseus must go to Crete and kill the Minotaur to free Athens from an ancient curse. Theseus volunteers to be a sacrifice in order to obtain access to Crete. This story also gives us how the Aegean sea get its name, how the Greek islands were formed and there is even an appearance from Icarus.
  maryperez1 | Jan 26, 2009 |
A short summary???? impossible. :) Thesues travels to Athens then to the island of Crete to slay the minotaur and set the Athens people free.
  tamilarson | Nov 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525473912, Hardcover)

Lavishly illustrated and impeccably researched, this is a dynamic retelling of one of the greatest adventure stories of all time. Join Theseus as he solves the mystery of his birth, vanquishes a colorful cast of robbers, and volunteers to slay the frightful half-bull, half-man devouring the children of Athens. In a captivating tale for readers of all ages, destinies tragic and glorious splendidly unfold.This is a sure bet for fans of mythology and a wonderful introduction for readers who have not yet discovered the fascinating world of the ancient Greeks.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

The story of Prince Theseus and the trials that befall him when he vows to become a hero.

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