Arrow Through the Axes concludes the Odyssey of a Slave trilogy that began with the Red Maple-nominated Torn from Troy, a retelling Homer's Odyssey. The slave Alexi, now free of his Greek captors, infiltrates the Greek strongholds of the Bronze Age in search of his sister. In so doing he participates in the stories of Orestes, son of Agamemnon, as he seeks revenge for his father's murder, and of Telemachus, son of Odysseus, who lands on Ithaca, the home island of Odysseus, just in time to witness the arrival of a mysterious stranger. As Alexi comes to understand the damage that the Trojan War has visited upon its victors, both he and the listener are forced to confront an unpleasant truth, while Alexi must decide where his allegiance really lies.
Re-casting the Odyssey as a YA adventure, this trilogy brings ancient mythology to life in a way that traditional retellings cannot. We see what life would have been like for Bronze-Age warriors as Bowman interweaves adventure, ritual and historical detail into a realistic and compelling narrative. Listeners who have experienced pop mythology, and now want to dive deeper, will find Arrow through the Axes especially satisfying, but all listeners will enjoy this powerful excursion into the classic mythology that shaped western culture.
Arrow Through the Axes is the third installment of the Odyssey series told from the viewpoint of a captured slave, Alexi. Through a series of events, Alexi finds himself a free man and able to search for his sister. To do so is dangerous as he must go to Greece where the Greek soldiers and others may recognize him as a Trojan and enslave him again.
Always insightful, Alexi learns that the people of Troy are not the only ones who suffered through the war but rather there were dire consequences for both sides – the victors and the defeated. The young men are gone, dead in the war or failed to have return thus leaving the old and frail on their own and the children unsupervised and of a pack like mind.
Alexi reconnects with old friends and makes new ones. The newest is Telemachus, the son of his former Master Lopex. Again Alexi must decide where his allegiances lie as he comes face to face with a situation that could exact some revenge but also put in peril an innocent life. Who will receive Alexi’s allegiance? Who is the stranger who seeks to wed the mother of Telemachus and wife of his former Master?
Patrick Bowman does a magnificent job of bringing mythology to life and makes it even more exciting. Using the view of a young man opens the story up to others, for listeners to connect with other characters than just the hero. He casts the tales in a new light allowing for a greater understanding of issues and life around that time. He gives authority to the young man, Alexi through his actions and quick wit.
Gerard Doyle, narrator, once again fit the voice to the character while still maintaining the previous voices. I loved how he made Alexi sound – young, vibrant, unsure and innocent. His voices are calming yet invigorating when the story needs it. I hope to hear more of Doyle’s reading; he is refreshing and highly talented.
I am honored and delighted that I was given this series to hear. Books like this were what made me fall in love with words; and narrators such as Doyle made me love audio-books.
There were no issues with the audio production of this audio-book.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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