Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships by Eric Shanower
After reading and enjoying Sacrifice so much I decided to read the only other Age of Bronze that was on the shelf across from the reference desk – A Thousand Ships. It just seemed the thing to do at the time, and I’ve heard of people doing dumber things for the same reason.
Like stealing someone’s wife instead of your aunt. Paris. That’d be you.
I’m not really sure why I didn’t like this one quite as much as I liked the other one. I feel like there were fewer nice, realistic relationships in it although now that I think about it, there were quite a few. It’s also possible that just way less stuff happened in this book. Or it could have been that every time there was a graphic sex or child birth scene I had to stop and think about whether or not this book belongs on the young adult shelf.
As far as relationships go, there were a few good ones. Hektor’s relationship with Polyxena (his little sister) was pretty wonderful, although also strange since Polyxena wanted to marry him… whatever. But it wasn’t that important to the story. The really moving one was Odysseus and Penelope (but then he left her, so that kind of sucked). Polydeukes and Kastor were too cute with little Hermione after Helen abandoned her (Hermione being Helen’s daughter by Menelaus). Menelaus and Agamemnon have a neat brotherly relationship in the sense that they don’t really like each other but they love each other because they’ve endured the same cursed upbringing. But for the most part, everyone in his book comes across as all Greek heroes do – as doorknobs motivated by their own selfish interests.
As far as the plot goes, not a lot happens. The Trojans find their long lost prince Paris (yeah bet they wish they didn’t do that), recount the lost of Hesione some thirty years ago and send Recently Discovered Idiot Prince out to retrieve her. But he decides Helen is sexier than his aunt, they run away together and make their way back, raiding pretty much everything as they go. This all happens in the first hundred pages. The rest involve poor little Achilles cross dress and banging Skyrosian princesses and Agamemnon floating around the Aegean looking for boats. I mean, there are a few other moments – the army gets rowdy when they get hungry, Achilles can’t not throw spears around and Odysseus pretends to be crazy but mostly… it involves people sailing places. And that’s not Shanower or this book’s fault.
If you’re going to stay true to the myth, you got acknowledge that it took years to get the army together. Babies were made and grown in the time it took for the Greeks to get their boats in the water.
And when this is what the source text is like, it’s no wonder that we need graphic novels of it.
Last movie I watched: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. EVERYONE should see this movie. It’s just so… perfect. Funny. Cute. Adorable. Heartwarming. Fabulous.
Last TV show I watched: Batman – Team Penguin. Spoiler! Team Penguin doesn’t work out.