Review: Athena's Champion by David Hair and Cath Mayo
November 8, 2018
'Odysseus must embrace his secret heritage and outwit the vengeful Gods who would control or destroy him… Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death. Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits, and his skill as a warrior, can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive. When one of Athena’s schemes goes drastically wrong, and the young Helen of Sparta is kidnapped, Odysseus must journey past the gates of Hades to save her. Falling in love with a Trojan princess, a bewitching woman who poses a deadly threat to both his homeland and Athena, won’t make his task any easier…'
We have all heard of Hercules, Perseus and Odysseus, three of the greatest greek legends, with their stories still of interest to many today. I was particularly interested in ‘Athena’s Champion’ due to it involving Athena and Odysseus. Two of my personal favourites. This brand new novel of greek mythology was an eye-opening read in terms of it giving a new spin on Odysseus’s life and how he learns more about himself and the Gods. Also a new take on the ideals and thoughts of who Athena is and what she represented, it was interesting to read a new take on the legend of Athena in particular. For any fans of Greek mythology or historical fiction, this is a new must read.
The writing style of Athena’s Champion, cut right into the action and was very dialogue and action focused. I particularly liked this as I like novels with faster plots and lots of action. I was fully engrossed into the story due to the authors’ use of dialogue, it was sometimes amusing and often easy to follow without being boring. The development of characters as well as the love story interwoven between the greek legends add to the enjoyment, as you read the several references it reminds you of reading the legends for the first time and hooks you all the more. Having recently read ‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller, I am clearly enjoying my greek myths and legends at the moment and ‘Athena’s Champion’ definitely holds its own and tells the classic in a fresh and insightful way.
Some parts of the book, you will read and stop, they are thought-provoking and defiantly represent some scenarios that are scarily similar to events and things that happen in the current climate. From the horrific treatment of women under the rule of the gods and some of the dialogue, it was hard-hitting to read.
I particularly enjoyed how the authors interpreted Athena and Hades, as these are two of my favourite gods to read about regarding greek mythology.
Overall, I would not hesitate to highly recommend ‘Athena’s Champion’. I think it perfectly executes a daring tale of greek mythology. Perfect for fans of Madeline Miller, it paints the perfect portrait of famous greek figures we all know, but tells it in a refreshing way. It is also great to see two authors work together and to be skilfully blend their narratives into one cohesive and page-turning read, I can’t wait for the rest of the trilogy!