From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6. Gory battles dominate this rendering of the ancient epic. A thorough prologue provides background details that set the story near the beginning of the Trojan War. Achilles, who is angry with Agamemnon, refuses to fight with the Greek army. After losing his best friend, he rejoins the battle and avenges Patroclus's death by killing Hector. Gods and goddesses join in the willful contests that propel this story. In a brief epilogue, the war ends with the infamous Trojan Horse; a helpful cast of characters is also included. Strachan carefully follows the action of the original story but eschews oral tradition and brings this version, which reads like a made-for-television movie script, into the '90s. The ancient bard relied heavily on epithets, metaphor, simile, and formalized language; Strachan has boiled out all the flavor of Homer. Well-executed, neo-classic illustrations that depict the action are generously spread throughout. Though the human figures look more European than Greek, the battle gear and costumes appear authentic, and Ambrus uses watercolor in striking ways to portray bloody battle scenes. If students are clamoring for the Greek epics, this is an acceptable purchase.?Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-8. This large, handsome volume presents The Iliad
as a prose adventure tale. In Strachan's measured retelling, it's a noble story, told with dignity as well as danger and daring. Even the prologue is exciting, setting in motion the actions and reactions of gods and men and leading them, step by inevitable step, to the siege and fall of Troy. An appended glossary tells who the characters are and how to pronounce their names. A solid choice for young readers looking for a good abridged version of The Iliad
. Carolyn Phelan