Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BLACK SHIPS - Opening Chapters

I am loving BLACK SHIPS. Jo Graham has written just the type of character development novel that I love. She has made me forget that I'm reading this novel in order to write a review. These are the moments when I love keeping this blog. I am already a quarter of the way through the novel.

The story is told in first person, from the point-of-view of Gull, a slave born out of rape after the fall of Wilusa, or Troy. Her mother was taken as war booty and is a slave in Greece. When she is crippled in an accident, her mother cannot support her anymore, so she takes her as an offering to the Lady of the Dead. When she demonstrates a gift of prophesy, the offering is accepted.

The tone of this novel is quiet, but the pace always moves forward. Unexpected things happen quite often. This novel is based on the Aeneid, which is an epic poem written by Virgil, chronicling the travels of Aeneas, a Trojan who founds Rome. I have not read the Aeneid, but I may have to, now. I'm actually glad I have not read it yet, because I will not have the tendency to quibble with the author, which I admit to doing when I read about a historical period that I know well.

Back when I announced this novel, I made note of the fact that the cover reminded me of a 1920s film star. Well, now I know the reason for the stylized makeup, and I think they did a great job with the cover.

My copy is a library copy, but I can tell already that I'm going to want to buy this one. I hope it doesn't disappoint, but I really don't think it will.


Thea said...

Oh, I am just starting this book as well!! (On your recommendation, of course) So far, so good--I love Jo Graham's quiet style, and the narrative voice here.

Tia Nevitt said...

Then we will be reading it together. The author definitely has a quiet style. I was able to read some more last night. There is an interesting love triangle forming.

Daya said...

Black Ships was great, I just posted a review myself--you are right about choosing to read the Aeneid later rather than before.I get picky about historical periods also!
Looks like I will be screwed when reading the Hand of Isis and Stealing Fire.

Tia Nevitt said...

Daya, where is your review so I can check it out?

Larry said...

I still need to finish my comparative review of Graham's book with Le Guin's Lavinia soon, or Niall might strangle me! :P Luckily, this weekend might be free, as next will be my brother's wedding. But Graham's book gets better as the story goes along, if that's any encourage to continue ;)

Tia Nevitt said...

Thanks for the encouragement, but I'm really enjoying the book so far, and I have not once thought "I just need to get through it because it's my featured debut," which unfortunately, I felt with my last featured debut.