Glyn Iliffe – The Voyages of Odysseus

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The Voyages of Odysseus takes us partway through the epic journey home for Odysseus, from Troy to Ithaca. The first four books in the series recounted the Trojan War in all its blood, honour, and glory. They also brought into play a unique friendship crafted by Glyn Iliffe in his own twist on Homer’s original epic — that of Odysseus and Eperitus. After enduring the hardship of ten years of battle between the two greatest armies to have ever faced one another, this final voyage home begins to seriously slice at the chords binding these two formidable characters together.

Odysseus had already been condemned, by the prophecy of the Pythoness, to never see his home for twenty years if he commands his army to war in Troy. Only after directly disobeying Athena in The Oracles of Troy does the reality of the fates begin to sink in for Odysseus as he begins to doubt his strong belief that a man can decide his own fate.

The Voyages of Odysseus takes us on a captivating voyage to the lair of the cyclops, son of the mighty Poseidon, to Circe, the sorcerer who sends Odysseus to experience living among the dead in the depths of the Underworld – The Kingdom of Hades – and far beyond. Iliffe is able to capture the wide ranging undertakings of Odysseus and the Ithacans in incredible detail, which will give you a taste of what it’s like for the Ithacans clawing at surviving against the odds. What’s important is that through these adventures, Iliffe beautifully strikes the balance between the mysterious magic and fantasy of the Greek myths and legends, and the hard reality of war and sacrifice that he has laid out in his previous novels. On top of this is the never-ending human touch that we can feel through the pages. This is one of the story of a man lost in the world and desperate to return home, and will do all that he can to return to his beloved wife.

However, although it is these such memories of his home and his wife continue to motivate Odysseus to persevere, his fellow Ithacans begin to spark a rebellion which, in time, kindled into a roaring firestorm by the Gods themselves…

Glyn Iliffe so brilliantly weaves together a myriad of different twists and tales from the depths of the past into an awe-inspiring epic with its own unique turn on events. The novel successfully encapsulates all that we could expect with the brutal battles between warriors of great nations and tribes, the fantasy and magic of the sorcerers and Gods, and what we all love — the ingenuity and cunning of Odysseus.

But beyond this, what is undeniably wonderful is how Glyn Iliffe is able to interlace a beautiful story of friendship, between the King of Ithaca and his most trusted comrade, into the original epic as told by Homer. As readers, not only are we served with an enthralling account of one of the greatest stories ever told but we are also able to gain a deep insight into the true nature and character of Odysseus through the reflection of his friendship with the warrior Eperitus who, by his values, is in fact a very different person to the son of Laertes.

The chosen style of ending is one which some may find annoyingly abrupt. Although it quite nicely rounds off after a particular event finishes, this event happens to be arguably the most devastating catastrophe endured by Odysseus and his crew. However, this sentiment only really arises due to the fact that you will, as I was, be left desperately wanting to know how Odysseus and the survivors of his crew will voyage homeward! This mischievous plot by Glyn will inevitably have you gripped and truly looking forward to the next addition to The Adventures of Odysseus!

You can find out more about Glyn Iliffe and The Adventures of Odysseus series by visiting his website: www.glyniliffe.com.

Review by Rajiv Daxini

 

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