I like books that are about football, basketball, and fantasy. My dad was tired of me reading the same genres over and over again, though. So he gave me The Iliad by Homer. The Iliad is thousands of years old. It is a famous Greek myth.
The Iliad takes place in and around Troy, an ancient city. The version that I read, by Gillian Cross, has illustrations for me to not get confused with all the characters. There are so many characters! There are gods and goddesses like Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hera, Chrysies, and others. They act like humans. They take sides and they argue with each other. The Greeks are one side of the famous war. They are Achilles, Agamemnon, Ajax, and Patroclus, etc. The Trojans are on the other side of the famous war, like Dolon, Aeneas, Hector, etc.
The chapter books that I read usually have one main character. Harrison, in one of my favorite books, Unstoppable, loves football and never gives up. Harry Potter, in Harry Potter, always wants to go on adventures. In The Iliad, I’m not sure who the main character is. There are Gods, Trojans, and Greeks. I do not really know which character to follow. It might be Achilles. He and Hector finally fight. Achilles kills Hector. Hector’s dad, King Priam, kindly asks Achilles for his son’s body so he can give him a proper funeral. Instead, Achilles ties Hector to his chariot and drags him on the sand all the way back to camp. JERK!
I like stories with positive themes. For example, courage, not giving up, overcoming fear, being the best you can be, and trust. I don’t really like the Iliad because it is full of betrayal. Helen, a Greek wife, wanted to get captured to be with Paris, a handsome Trojan prince. So she cheats on her husband, Menelaus. That is how the famous and mythical Greek-Trojan war started. Just over a woman. A WOMAN! The Iliad is just full of killing, betrayal, bad attitude, and bad energy. It was not a calm story. It does not even have an ending. I don’t even know what side won because Homer did not tell me.
But what I do like about the book are the names, like Xanthus, Blasius, Aeneas, and Ajax. These are cool names that I have never heard of before. I also admired Hector’s courage when he fought Achilles. He knew that he was going to die because Achilles was a legendary soldier. But he fought him anyway.
So my opinion on this book is take or leave it even though it is thousands of years old and really famous and read by generations of readers.
The Iliad by Homer. Candlewick, 2015.
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