Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother Penelopeia keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father Odysseus, since the Trojan War began many years ago.
But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home. With only a mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telemachos sets off over sea and desert in search of the father he has never known.
King of Ithaka was a little slow to start off, but the more I read the more I got into Telemachos's story. Odysseus's adventures are ones I've heard and read about many times so it was interesting to see things from the perspective of his son. King of Ithaka was narrated by Telemachos, years after his father had first left. Life was good in Ithaka for Telemachos and his family and friends until his neighbors decide Odysseus is not coming back and it's time for Telemachos's mother to remarry and for Ithaka to have a true ruler. From there things really start to get interesting for Telemachos and the reader.
Young Telemachos sets off on a journey to find his father with his good friend Brax and a stowaway, Poly. The three face a lot of dangers and challenges and meet a lot of unique, and at times dangerous, creatures.
There were quite a few unique characters in this novel. Telemachos was especially intriguing to read about and I liked watching him grow and mature over the course of the story and to know what it truly meant to be a King. Brax was a centaur and a very brave character. Away from Ithaka he faced a lot of prejudices against his species. There were a variety of creatures introduced in King of Ithaka, many of which I had never heard of before. Poly, the other member of Telemachos's expedition, was a fiery and spirited girl and I enjoyed watching her relationship with Telemachos grow.
King of Ithaka was a well researched and original novel combining mythology, romance, and what it means to be a hero. While a little slow at first, I enjoyed reading about Telemachos and his adventures and seeing the "great" Odysseus in a new light. I definitely recommend picking this up!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
September 14, 2010/Henry, Holt, and Co./261 Pages/Young Adult