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Before they were heroes...'Rescue? Is that what you call it? Throw a rock and then run? And I bet that's as far ahead as you'd planned.' Penelope made a face. 'Boys! Always thinking about heroics and never about what needs to happen day to day.' Odysseus, Prince of Ithaca, has always been safe, sheltered, protected - and bored! The Age of Heroes is past. The wars are over. The monsters have all been slain. Or so he believes. Are there any adventures left for a thirteen-year-old boy who wants, more than anything, to be a hero? His time comes when Odysseus, his best friend Mentor, a spoiled princess named Helen and her outspoken cousin Penelope are kidnapped by pirates. It is the start of an adventure-filled journey that leads them to the ancient island of Crete. There, Odysseus must face the deadly secret in the Labyrinth, where the Minotaur once devoured all who were unfortunate enough to enter. Now another, more deadly monster roams the maze. There the boy destined to fight in the Trojan War and survive the perilous voyage of the Odyssey discovers the hardest part of being a hero: living long enough to tell the tale.

Buy Odysseus in the Serpent Maze book by Jane Yolen from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780007134144
ISBN-10: 0007134142
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 17mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: CollinsVoyager
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 7-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » For those whose knowledge of the heroes of Ancient Greece is limited to Homer, this delightful tale is an exhilarating account of what life might have been like for an adolescent Odysseus, his best chum Mentor, his future wife Penelope and the captivating Helen of Troy. The authors acknowledge that their rollicking adventure is loosely based on what sparse information the Odyssey contains about the boyhood of this likeable hero. What Homer neglects to supply, however, Yolen and Harris provide in good measure. Odysseus is impetuous, bold, conceited, crafty and game for anything. Life with his grandfather Autolycus is boring; Odysseus craves adventures, and yearns to have a chance to prove himself a real hero. But as he and Mentor set out on their voyage home to Ithaca, it soon becomes apparent that the gods have heard his plea. A violent storm blows up and the boys both end up fighting for their lives. They are soon rescued by a passing ship - but little do they know, as they clamber on board, that their troubles are only just beginning.... This is a racy adventure story with plenty of humour and a vibrant cast of strong characters. Helen of Troy, a self-centred madam preoccupied with maintaining her legendary good looks and ensnaring defenceless swains in her coils, proves how she can rise to the challenge as the story reaches its dramatic climax. Penelope is destined to be Odysseus's wife, yet they are sparring partners throughout the book, each of them unwilling to acknowledge the other's good points. Mentor is the traditional Greek figure of a loyal friend and companion and Odysseus himself is exasperating and endearing in equal measure. As this unlikely quartet encounters a lecherous satyr, a multi-headed snake, pirates and sirens, Odysseus finds out that being a hero is a pretty demanding business. This is the first tale in the Before They Were Heroes series, and the authors have hit upon a winning formula: an exciting adventure story, plenty of laughs and just the merest hint of romance. Children from 8 to 12 will love it. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen is one of the acknowledged masters of fantasy today. She is the author of more than one hundred books for children and adults. She has won the Nebula prize, the World Fantasy Award, the Christopher Medal and the Golden Kite Award. Robert J. Harris was born and raised in Scotland. He studied Greek and Latin at university and has had a varied career. He designed the best-selling fantasy board game Talisman and is the author of numerous short stories.

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