by David Hair, Cath Mayo
Narrated by Ben Onwukwe
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Pub Date 10 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 9 Aug 2021
A prophecy condemns him, a goddess binds him, but what will set Odysseus free?
A thrilling tale of a legendary Greek adventure, perfect for fans of Madeline Miller and David Gemmell.
Young Prince Odysseus is about to have his world torn apart. He has travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom, but instead a terrible secret is revealed, one that tears down every pillar of his life and marks him out for death.
Outcast by his family and on the run, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust headfirst into the secret war between the gods. But can his wits, and his skill as a warrior, keep him ahead of their power games – and alive?
Gods and mortals collide in this spellbinding retelling of a legend from classic Greek mythology, the first in the epic Olympus Trilogy.
A Note From the Publisher
David Hair is an award-winning New Zealand YA and Adult fantasy writer, and the author of sixteen novels. He's joined his considerable skill and expertise with Cath Mayo to create the Olympus Series, an adult historical fantasy drawing on ancient Greek Mythology, following the adventures of Odysseus as he navigates the dangerous world of the Greek Gods.
Cath Mayo is a New Zealand YA, Children and Adult fiction author. Her two published YA historical novels are both set in Ancient Greece and her first novel received a Storylines Notable Book Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2014. She's joined her considerable skill and expertise with David Hair to create the Olympus Series, an adult historical fantasy drawing on ancient Greek Mythology, following the adventures of Odysseus as he navigates the dangerous world of the Greek Gods.
|DURATION||14 Hours, 48 Minutes|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
Forget any of the preconceived ideas you had of the original story of Odysseus because this is a totally different tale than the one, we are usually aware of.
Athena's Champion is a magical mystery tour on the adventures of Young Prince Odysseus. If you are reading or listening to this, then you are like to know the story. But this has a fair number of twists and turns. It is this that makes the novel a breath of fresh air from the norm.
Sometimes it is nice to have a fresh take on things, and as long as you do not take too many liberties, why not make it more exciting and less run of the mill. And this has been accomplished well as Odysseus pits his wits against the machinations of the warring Olympians.
The novel was a little complex, and convoluted at times and quite hard to follow, especially the politics. But it did not take the joy away from the narrative. What did was the areas of the book which were a bit pedestrian and unexciting. You were always waiting for something to kick off, to get the ball rolling.
I did like that there were brief spasms of humour in the narrative. The dialogue is a bit strange, as it ranges between classic and modern. Be warned that some of the content is, shall we say, colourful. Okay, I will be honest here, the offensive language spoilt a decent book for me. There was no need for it, and it is happening far too often in novels these days. Rant over.
The narrator Ben Onwukwe does a brilliant job with the many characters. Alternating between male and female voices with ease.
I did like Athena's Champion, but I do not think I would compare it to the work of David Gemmel.
Thank you, NetGalley and Saga Egmont Audio, for the audiobook.
I received an eARC of this audiobook from Netgalley. All opinions are my own!
Odysseus is about to have his world torn to pieces and thrown upside down, but along the way, can he find not only allies but also his true self?
As someone who loves Greek mythology but has little patience for reading them in their original form, this book was just what I needed! It took such a classic story and turned it into something that I simply couldn't stop listening to. I found myself finally undaunted by Odysseus' story and even wanting more and more of it.
This story was definitely something that took Odysseus, a legend, and made him into a human being that could actually be related to. It took his story and turned it into something that could really reach the reader and give them something to connect to even in the modern-day. I greatly enjoyed being part of Odysseus' story and I cannot wait to see where this series goes!
If you are a fan of Greek mythology retellings, this book is definitely for you!
Deeper dive into Greek mythology
This book was filled with quite interesting lessons for me. I always considered myself quite well-versed in Greek mythology, but apparently I knew much less about Theseus than I thought. It seemed surprising to me to see him depicted so negatively - but it was actually very accurate it seems. His kidnapping and rape of Helen is not something that David Hair and Cath Mayo came up with, but if I knew about it, I must have forgotten.
What Hair and Mayo do do is give Odysseus a life before the context of the Trojan War. They latch on to what apparently also is an established variation of his myth, namely him being the son of Sisyphus and use that to create conflict between Laertes, who now is only the husband of Odysseus's mother, and the rest of the family.
Beside a number of well-known figures from Greek mythology (e.g. Athena, Hades, Persephone, Zeus, Helen) the authors also introduce a few original characters, key among whom is Bria, another character devoted to Athena, who is essential for the cliffhanger at the end of this book, the first in a trilogy.
One of the less successful aspects of the novel for me was the romantic connection between Cassandra of Troy (whose name is cleverly disguised at first) and Odysseus, and I also simply did not like Athena, who usually is one of my favorite characters from Greek mythology. Overall I did find this book lacking regarding emotional accessibility in quite a similar way as Madeline Miller's book about Circe and Patroclus.
Hair and Mayo allow themselves to tell a much more original story with many highly interesting additions. I like how they acknowledge the existence of Artemis in the context of the golden apple and how they create a lot of information on how divinity is organized.
This may not be a perfect novel but it is a great one for anyone who enjoys Greek mythology and is open-minded enough to deal with a retelling that throws things around a bit while still staying true to the original.
“Athena’s Champion” is the first book in the “Olympus Trilogy”. Inspired by Greek mythology, “Athena’s Champion” follows the legend of Prince Odysseus of Ithaca but adds to it some unexpected twists and turns. As Odysseus embarks on a journey to claim the throne of his island kingdom, he finds himself in the midst of secrets and machinations that will forever change the young Prince’s life.
💭I really liked the pace of this book, which turned it into a light and easy read. At times, however, I felt confused by the amount of information I was given (maybe because I was just listening to the audiobook? maybe if I was also following the story in print, this wouldn’t have happened?) Nonetheless, this didn’t make me lose interest in the story, in the least!
💭Ben Onwukwe narration was quite impressive. The narrator brought the characters to life, giving to each character a different voice, intonation, and accent. Also, I usually listen to audiobooks in 1.75x, however, in this book I didn’t speed up more than 1.25x. The narration was in good enough pace for me not to feel the need to speed it up more than that. To me, that is definitely a plus.
💭Overall, I quite enjoyed “Athena’s Champion”. It was a fun reading and I would recommend it to anyone who, like myself, enjoys epic retellings of Greek Myths 🏺🏛
Thank you to @netgalley, Saga Egmont, David Hair and Cath Mayo for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
It's the first time I hear a book. Found out it's not my thing. I had a hard time keeping track of the story. I had to pick up the book and read it myself at my pace to enjoy it.
I like that we see Odysseus as a young man and adds a mystical/fantasy/political twist to the story. The story also intertwines other mythological heroes, like Theseus - who teaches Odysseus how to fight and trains with him.
Great book and a new favorite!
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an AudioARC in exchange for an honest review.
Athena's Champion is a prequel telling of Odysseus' past before he became the household name he would later be. Tapped as a Champion of Athena after an oracle's prophecy details not only his future, but everything he knows about himself. When the prophecy paints a large target on his back, will he be able to fly under the radar to stay alive? Or will his quest sending him into the underworld become a permanent destination?
This was a solid beginning to a trilogy. The narrator was perfectly selected as he has the booming voice you would expect from the Gods. The middle of this novel became a bit stagnant, but other than the pacing issues this was an easy book to enjoy listening to. It does not, however, peak my interest to continue the series, so it does get three stars rather than four from me.
I recommend this for anyone 18+ who loves Greek mythology and an original tale. There is reference to rape, thus the higher age recommendation.
Narrator 5 stars
Story 4 stars
This was so beautifully told and I was super engaged for the entire story. I really want to continue with this series so I'm hoping the others are on audible.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an AudioARC in exchange for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this reimagining of Odysseus' life before his massive journey in the Ilyiad and the Odyssey. I also enjoyed the interwoven plot of the starting of the Trojan war.
Odysseus becomes marked by Athena as her champion and hears a prophecy about himself that changes everything.
Things spiral pretty quickly and Odysseus finds himself in the middle of the Underworld which he may end up staying there forever, the plaything of Persephone...
This was a brilliant start to a trilogy, and I am very interested in picking up the next two in the series. The narrator for this edition had a wonderful booming voice and his articulation was emmaculate that just worked with the pacing of the novel. I was truly emersed especially on the fields of Elysium.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes Greek Mythology, fast paced books but would caution anyone to look up content warnings as there are some upsetting things that happen which I would also say make this an adult book.
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