Friday, February 29, 2008

Black Ships by Jo Graham

Based on The Aeneid, Black Ships is the story of the people of Troy, who are searching for a new home after the Trojan Wars. The story focuses on Gull, a former slave girl who now serves as the voice of the Lady of the Dead. Gull must choose which path to follow when black ships appear, led by Aeneas, prince of Troy.

As Aeneas' oracle, Gull travels with his fleet from Greece to Egypt and ultimately to the shadows of Mount Vesuvius. Along the way, she grows from a young woman resolved to be alone forever to a woman full of life and love.

Despite the fact that it took me a full month to read this book, I really loved it. It's hard to believe this is a first novel. The main characters are fully developed, and the writing grabbed me from the beginning. That said, there were times when I felt the Graham's choice of words didn't fit the rest of the writing style (unfortunately, I can't find an example right now). Those instances had more of a modern feel than the rest of the book. If I recall correctly, most of those situations occurred when there was dialog between Gull, Aeneas, and another character, Xandros.

If you are a fan of historical fiction or the retelling of ancient stories, I think you will enjoy this book! I read this as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, but I see that the book is now available for sale (although the release date says March 10).


Eva said...

This one sounds really interesting!

Somer said...

It was very good!

Danielle said...

I saw this on LT and added it to my library list. I'm hoping to get it soon. I was wondering about it and am glad to hear it's a good read.