From School Library Journal
Grade 7-9–Not to be confused with Virgils or Gides, this shepherd boy is a goat-leg misfit, a scapegoat, and an outcast rejected by his mother. He finds an unlikely surrogate in Medusa when he rescues her (immune to her glance) from a freak show. With her newborn baby and two immortal (and bizarre) Gorgon sisters, they form an odd family, underscoring the theme of maternal love and acceptance. A hero needs a quest, so Corydon and a handful of monsters (Sphinx, Minotaur, Lamia, et al) are pitted against Perseus and a ragtag loser-army. Its difficult to work up alarm, since Medusa can petrify unlimited numbers, but Perseus gets help from Zeus (a despicable character here) and beheads her. The best scenes are those in the underworld: pace and imagination pick up in these Dante-esque episodes. Otherwise, the occasional glances at social satire, the number of two-dimensional characters, some obscure poetic references, difficult diction (bonhomiously), and lack of focus work against this first novel.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. Georges School, Newport, RI
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Gr. 8-11. Corydon, a young boy with one goat leg, meets the Gorgon Medusa when he is cast out from his village and captured by men running a traveling freak show. He quickly realizes that the Medusa and the other "monsters" he meets aren't evil, and together they escape to an island, where they live happily until Perseus, the cowardly son of Zeus, convinces an army of heroes that all monsters should be killed. It isn't long before Corydon finds himself leading the monsters against the gods. Although Druitt (the pseudonym of a mother-and-son team) offers an intriguing twist on Greek mythology--vilifying the heroes and portraying the monsters with sympathy--some of the pieces of Corydon's quest to assume his prophesied role refuse to connect, and a few sections are written with a sarcastic flippancy far different from the high-fantasy language of the rest of the story. Corydon's simple goodness is appealing, though, and the monsters are fascinating, well-rounded characters^B that help make this tale, the first in a trilogy, a treat for readers who enjoy viewing old stories from new vantage points. Krista Hutley
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