Review of The Voyage of Odysseus

I was very lucky to receive an advance copy of Glyn Iliffe’s brand new novel in his Adventures of Odysseus chronicles, The Voyage of Odysseus. Was it as good as the previous books? Read on to find out!

voyage of odysseus cover

 

“From one adventure to another the pace never lets up. Like Homer’s original, Glyn Iliffe’s series is destined to become a classic!”

That’s the strapline I gave to Glyn for the cover of this book and I think it about sums it up. The Trojan War is over and it’s time – at last! – for Odysseus and his men to go home. Back to the wife and child he hasn’t seen for a decade. But it’s not going to be that easy is it?

Anyone who’s ever read the Odyssey will know there’s still a lot of story to be told and Glyn uses this book to do so. Gone are the schemes and plots to get inside Troy and, in their place are fantastic islands populated by bizarre monsters like the Cyclops. Truly this is a tale of magic and adventure!

And yet, the characters Glyn has created are – here more than ever before – portrayed as REAL people, with real flaws and emotions. They attack an innocent village, for example, purely so Odysseus can gather some more plunder (wealth and slaves) to take back from the long war. This is how it was back then and the author doesn’t shy away from it – it’s just a part of life, but it really shows us the type of hard men we’re dealing with and it’s a great counterpoint to all the fantasy that permeates the story.

The battle scenes are excellent – vivid, exciting and brutal, while the pacing of the tale is just about perfect, drawing the reader in from the very start and not letting go until the end. And it’s a long book so you’re really getting your money’s worth here, as Odysseus and his side-kick Eperitus lurch from one horrible situation to another, even visiting Hades along the way.

Glyn Iliffe has been lucky in a way with this series because much of the tale has been written for him, so he “just” has to flesh it out in his own style. BUT that can also be a curse and I think the end of this particular book shows that. If you know the story of Odysseus from Homer’s original you will know his voyage home is not an easy one – far from it. And as a result this novel is very dark, with a lot of death and sadness and I did feel it started to become rather oppressive just as it neared the end.

But things finish on a hopeful note and the next book is set up perfectly!

Glyn is now self-published and I think this new novel really proves his mettle as a writer. Given his original books had the benefit of major in-house editors, cover designers etc I can say this, and his previous self-published book The Oracles of Troy, stand alongside them and, in fact, are probably BETTER.

 

The Voyage of Odysseus  should be out NOW – I hope you pick up a copy, but DO start at the beginning if you haven’t read the previous books. They’re ALL excellent.

MY RATING – 5/5

Click HERE to read a Q&A I did with Glyn on the Historical Novel Society website when his previous book came out.

historical fiction greek

Glyn Iliffe, author of the excellent Adventures of Odysseus series.

BUY the Kindle version HERE in the UK

BUY the Kindle version HERE in the USA

 

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Review: Wolf’s Head by Steven A. McKay

My review of Glyn Iliffe’s new book will be up soon but, in the meantime, this guy enjoyed Wolf’s Head. A lot! 🙂

Speesh Reads

Wolf's Head
An earthy: 5
 out of 5 stars

My version:
Paperback
Historical Fiction, Medieval England.
Self published
2013
Bought from The Book Depository

England 1321 AD

After viciously assaulting a corrupt but powerful clergyman, Robin Hood flees the only home he has ever known in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Becoming a member of a notorious band of outlaws, Hood and his new companions – including John Little and Will Scaflock – hide out in the great forests of Barnsdale, fighting for their very existence as the law hunts them down like animals.

When they are betrayed and their harsh lives become even more unbearable, the band of friends seeks bloody vengeance.

Meanwhile, the country is in turmoil, as many of the powerful lords strive to undermine King Edward II’s rule until, inevitably, rebellion becomes a reality and the increasingly deadly yeoman outlaw from Wakefield finds his fate bound up with that…

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Book Corner: Steven A. McKay’s ‘The Forest Lord’ Series

Brilliant new review of my books, check it out!

History... the interesting bits!

CX0jE-zWcAEQNWnSteven A. McKay‘sThe Forest Lord series of books is a wonderful, refreshing new take in the Robin Hood Legend. All the usual heroes are there, including Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet and Maid Marian, battling against their old enemies, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the despicable Sir Guy of Gisbourne.

However, what has changed is the time and location. Instead of the wilds of Sherwood Forest, The Forest Lord books are set in Barnsdale Forest in what is now West Yorkshire, while young Robin’s family lives in the nearby village of Wakefield. Gone also is the vile Prince John – and you won’t see King Richard the Lionheart either. The story is set in the time of Edward II, the rebellion of his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster providing the back-story to the first book; while the aftermath of Thomas’s defeat at the Battle of Boroughbridge is still…

View original post 593 more words