Title: Torn from Troy: Odyssey of a Slave
Author: Patrick Bowman
Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Series: Odyssey of a Slave (Book 1)
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Ronsdale Press (February 15, 2011)
Two-and-a half millennia after it was created, Homer''s Odyssey remains one of humanity''s most memorable adventure stories. In this re-creation of Homer''s classic as a young adult novel, we see the aftermath of the Trojan War through the eyes of Alexi, a fifteen-year-old Trojan boy. Orphaned by the war and enslaved by Odysseus himself, Alexi has a very different view of the conquering heroes of legend. Despite a simmering anger towards his captors, Alexi gradually develops a grudging respect for them. As the Greeks fight off the angry Cicones, weather a storm that pushes them far beyond charted waters, and nearly succumb to the blandishments of the bewitching Lotus-eaters, he realizes that they are not the demons they were said to be, but people like himself. At the same time, Alexi''s quick thinking, bravery, and the healing skills that he learned from his father prove to his captors that he is no ordinary slave. His key role in their escape from the Cyclops earns the respect of his master, Odysseus, and a striking discovery during their escape gives his life a newfound purpose. Straddling the boundary between historical fiction and mythology, Torn from Troy is written in a hard, realistic style and brings to life the travails of a bronze-age slave of the Greeks in a form that will appeal especially to teen boys. While this book is the first volume of the author''s Odyssey of a Slave trilogy, it is a compelling and fully-realized work on its own.