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Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff

Black Ships Before Troy (1993)

by Rosemary Sutcliff

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  mrsforrest | Oct 21, 2014 |
Wonderful children's version of The Iliad. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts... ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
Holy god, Alan Lee can paint. (He was the concept artist for Jackson's trilogy, and you can totally see some of the same epic sweep and body language in the watercolors here.)

This is the Iliad-plus. it's the story of the rage of Achilles, with the added context of why the Greeks are in Asia Minor at all, and it goes up to the end of the war, including the horse, and Laocoon, etc., etc. It sticks pretty closely to the canonical text — although it leaves out Iphigenia, and the story I love that Helen tells in the Odyssey, about how she was imitating the voices of the Greek women when the Greeks were inside the horse, and it also leaves out Neoptolemus /Pyrrhus — but by and large, this would be an EXCELLENT introduction to the Iliad and the heroes therein for a child. Not sure of the intended age range — it's designed like a picture book, except that, well. Iliad. EVERYONE DIES. WITH GORE. And the language is pretty damn sophisticated; like, Sutcliff adapts some of the epic similes. A well-read eight or nine-year-old could probably handle it, but a well-read eight or nine-year-old would probably reject it out of hand for looking like a baby book. (I know I would have.) ( )
  cricketbats | Apr 18, 2013 |
I didn't know, when I asked for this retelling of the story of Troy for Christmas, that it was illustrated by Alan Lee. It was enough for me that it was written by Rosemary Sutcliff! And even without the illustrations, it's well done: Rosemary Sutcliff brings a lot of pathos to it, with moments of insight and tenderness. I thought the moment from the Iliad with Astanyax being afraid of his father's helmet was well done, but there were other good bits. In most ways, though, it stuck close to the original stories, even in style, using epithets and so on. It's a pleasure to read, but it is a simplified, shorter version of the story of Troy aimed at children, after all...

But with Alan Lee's illustrations, it becomes completely enchanting. I loved the pictures of Thetis comforting Achilles, the scene where Helen, Andromache and Hecuba grieve over Hector's body, the one of Penthesilea and the other Amazons... They're all beautiful, actually, and suit it perfectly. So happy I got this. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
The verdict of a seven-year-old:

"There's too much killing! They shouldn't have done that over one stupid woman! They should've just talked things out!" ( )
  KidSisyphus | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosemary Sutcliffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In the high and far off days when men were heroes and walked with the gods, Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, took for his wife a sea nymph called Thetis, Thetis of the Silver Feet.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055349483X, Mass Market Paperback)

The Story of the Iliad

Homer's epic poem, The Illiad, is one of the greatest adventure stories of all time. In it, the abduction of the legendary beauty, Helen of Troy, leads to a conflict in which even the gods and goddesses take sides and intervene. It is in the Trojan War that the most valiant heroes of the ancient world are pitted against one another. Here Hectore, Ajax, Achilles, and Odysseus meet their most formidable challenges and in some casas their tragic ends.

Rosemary Sutcliff makes such extraordinary stories as those of those Trojan horse, of Aphrodite and the golden apple, and of the fearsome warrior women Amazons, accessible to contemporary young people.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:16 -0400)

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Retells the story of the Trojan War, from the quarrel for the golden apple, and the flight of Helen with Paris, to the destruction of Troy.

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