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The Face of Apollo (Book of the Gods, Volume 1) Hardcover – April, 1998
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From Library Journal
In a post-technology world in which the Olympian deities are distant memories, Jeremy Redthorn discovers a divine artifact that transforms his life and heralds the return of the gods. Equally at home with both sf and fantasy, Saberhagen (Beserker Fury, LJ 8/97) here shows off his skill at revitalizing old mythologies in this rousing series opener. Combining the epic quest with a story of one young man's rite of passage, this title should appeal to YA readers as well as to the author's many fans.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In fine form, Saberhagen turns to a world that recalls (and may actually be) that of his Swords series. The ancient classical gods have returned but are at war among themselves, and this yarn opens with a battle to the death between Apollo and Hades. Although Hades appears the victor, the face of Apollo is carried off by one of the sun god's human votaries. It ends up entering the body of 15-year-old Jeremy Redthorn, turning him into an avatar of Apollo who possesses many attributes of the god. That noticeably improves his sex life and gives him the power to summon swarms of bees against his enemies, but it also imposes responsibilities equal to the new powers and thrusts him forcibly into the front lines of the cosmic battle of good and evil. Saberhagen offers classical scholarship, wit, and brisk pacing in an admirable coming-of-age story that should appeal even to readers unfamiliar with the Swords books and attract Swords-familiar readers in swarms. Roland Green
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Top Customer Reviews
Saberhagen keeps some of the themes from the Swords, namely that Gods who walk the earth are not actually "gods" but somehow enhanced humans. In addition, there are "items of power" which are often sought out by individuals, but sometimes acquired just by luck. In the other series it was Swords, here it's Masks. Other than sharing that same starting point...NOTHING is the same, which I love! Kudos, Fred!
The topography of the land is totally different, as are the personalities of all the major characters. This storyline is quite unpredictable and engaging too! This looks to be a great new series, and I highly recommend it.