3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first of a quintet of novels,
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This review is from: Gods and Warriors (Hardcover)
This is the first offering, from what is to be a five-part series that is a mixing of magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin (called Spirit).
Book 1 shows our hero Hylas given a bronze dagger by a dying slave, though he is both mystified and at loss to understand why the dreaded Crows – the warrior clan of Koronos and rulers of Mycenae – will do anything within their power to retrieve it. Hylas finds himself on the run. On his fraught journey Hylas encounters the daughter of the High Priestess, courageous 12-year-old Pirra, who has boldly branded her own cheek and escaped an arranged marriage joins him on his journey. Soon they find themselves marooned on an Island, and here they are caught up in hostile enmities between Lakonians, Mycenaeans and Minoans. They soon find that they must rely on each if they are to survive, and this growing shared dependency drives the story.
While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. This book illustrates the quality of Paver's research is impeccable and, reading her intense accounts of Bronze Age life really the narrative to the fore. Paver’s brings in well-rounded and stalwart characters that always seem to do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style as most of written word is written in short, stabbing sentences. The wide ranging success of the first set of books has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion this series will do as well hence my 5 star rating.