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King of Ithaka

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  215 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Telemachos has a comfortable life on his small island of Ithaka, where his mother Penelopeia keeps the peace even though the land has been without its king, his father Odysseus, since the Trojan Warbeganmany years ago.

But now the people are demanding a new king, unless Telemachos can find Odysseus and bring him home. With only a mysterious prophecy to guide him, Telema

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Original review posted HERE

In Greek Mythology, Telemachos is the son of the great Hero Odysseus and a central character in Homer’s poem The Odyssey – its first four books focus on Telamachos’ journey to find news of his missing father, who had been away for about 20 years. After these first few books, Homer concentrates on Odysseus’ journey home until father and son are reunited in a glorious (and gory) ending when they execute the wannabe usurpers of Odysseus’ throne (and suitors of Penelope –
Dec 19, 2010 rr added it
Barrett turns episodes from Homer's Odyssey inside out! At some points I actually gasped when I realized how she was twisting a particular Odyssean episode or character into something quite different, often the opposite of what we find in Homer.
Nice prose style with a lot of information about daily life in Ancient Greece sprinkled through, but the ending felt rushed.
E. Anderson
Okay. I need to start by saying that I’m a complete and total classics nerd. I have a degree in classical studies, I’ve read countless papers on classical mythology, and written several myself. So when it comes to rewriting something like THE ODYSSEY, well, you’d better do it well if you want to impress me, because my eye is beyond critical.

So when I first heard about KING OF ITHAKA by Tracy Barrett I was scared. I was scared that I would hate it even though it looked so good. A reimagining of T
Ms. Yingling
Telemachos, son of Odysseus, can no longer stand that his father has been gone his whole life. The neighbors who want to marry his mother Penelopeia are becoming increasingly annoying, and Ithaka needs a king. He consults the oracle, "Daisy", and gets a cryptic response, but it's enough to send him off with his two best friends, Brax, a centaur, and Poly, to get more answers. Their voyages take them to see King Nestor and King Menelaus, as well as involving them in lots of adventures along the w ...more
Kim Miner Litton
Okay, I feel a little bad being tough on this book, like a real nit-picker. I wonder if I just wasn't in the mood to read it, because it took me a while to finish it even though it was a fast read.
Taking my mood into account, fans can totally disregard this review, but I do see that some of the things that bothered me, bothered others.
I'm a really rabid fan of mythology and was really excited to find out this book existed. I remembered Telemachus had a decent storyline in the Odyssey, and though
My opinion on this story is divided, so I'll give the pros first. It is well written and very interesting - especially if you're familiar with The Odyssey. It isn't historical fiction, for Tracy Barrett keeps the mythical creatures like centaurs and mermaids in it, so it's more like a myth. However, it still has many rich historical details that flesh out the landscape and sometimes makes the Reader forget that it's not a true story.

And that, I am afraid, is where the pros end. While it is well
King of Ithaka was a little slow to start off, but the more I read the more I got into Telemachos's story. Odysseus's adventures are ones I've heard and read about many times so it was interesting to see things from the perspective of his son. King of Ithaka was narrated by Telemachos, years after his father had first left. Life was good in Ithaka for Telemachos and his family and friends until his neighbors decide Odysseus is not coming back and it's time for Telemachos's mother to remarry and ...more
Scribbler King
Hmmm. What did I like most about THE KING OF ITHAKA? Perhaps that the Greek gods were involved without being too involved? Perhaps the strong-willed female, Polly? Or just that in general I really like the whole setting of weak/lazy prince/princess who ends up a strong ruler/good person?

Probably all of them. I didn't like how many anachronisms there were. (I really hate the way some books pretend like it's just like ancient times, oh, except for this or that just so it's acceptable to certain pe
Tyler Buechel
The title of my book review is king of ithaka by Tracy Barrett. The main character is Brax and Telemachos is the son of the king who is the ruler of Ithaka. The thing that I like about this book was the adventure to find the king and bring him home and the bad thing I didn’t like was there was very little Greek mythology in this story witch was a main disappointment of the book. The thing that got me was that the reasoning for searching for his dad was never really found or why he was doing it b ...more
Aurora Celeste
First off, the cover of this book bugged me. I hate the current trend of putting large faces on covers. Books like this creep me out with the people staring back. That said, this book was ok. I'm not 100% into books with a male lead. I just personally prefer female leads, I can identify and empathize better with them. The story, however, was solid, the plot believable, and the characters were interesting. The story is about the son of Odysseus, prince of Ithaca, who has been left behind the whol ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 13 and up
Telemachos has long been without a father, and Ithaka without a king. Now, with suitors threatening to force his mother, Penelopeia, into marriage in order to take the kingship, Telemachos has to find out why Odysseus never returned.

Aided by a centaur and a runaway, guided only a seer's cryptic advice, he sets sail for the court of Nestor. On the way they encounter many bizarre creatures, but their biggest danger may be from their fellow men.

I have always loved Greek mythology and the Odyssey in
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book centers around Odysseus' son, Telemachos. The basic premise is that Odysseus has been away for 16 years, and Telemachos is prompted to go and find him when some of the men in Ithaka determine that it's time for Penelopeia, Odysseus' wife, to remarry - thereby giving Ithaka a new king. Telemachos, who hates to sail, leaves by boat on his journey to visit two other nearby kings (of Pylos and Sparta) to track down news of his father. I have to say that my favorite character of the story w ...more
A solid and interesting retelling of the myth of the Odyssey, from the point of view of young Telemachos, who in Barret's book is a rather naive and self-deprecating 16-year-old. As the pressure on his mother to marry one of their neighbors grows, the teen longs for his father to return and set the kingdom right. He visits the oracle called "Daisy" - the man-eating daughter of a Titan - who gives him this cryptic prophecy: "Return to the place that is not, on the day that is not, bearing the thi ...more
Laurie Gray
At sixteen, Telemachos sets off on his own Odyssey in search of his father who has not yet returned to Ithaka from the Trojan War. As in Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachos sails to Pylos to consult King Nestor, and Nestor’s son Pisistratos agrees to take Telemachos to Sparta in his chariot to ask King Menelaos what has become of Odysseus. Mythological creatures and deities live anew in this coming-of-age adventure where a young prince discovers the meaning of friendship and the true qualities of a king ...more
Beth Dailey Kenneth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Devin Logan
King of Ithaka, is a marvelous book by Tracy Barrett, it tells of journey of Telemachos, son of Odysseus, and his journey to find his lost father. On this journey, Telemachos will receive of news that he doesn't find pleasing, will face desertion,betrayal, and loss. But his dig down deep within himself and find the will to find and reunite his father with his kingdom, learning along the way to never give up. The author's purpose of the book is to give a first-person perspective of the finding of ...more
What a brilliant idea to flesh out the shadowy character of Telemachus, and Barrett does a fine job of making him appealing in this coming-of-age tale. She also re-characterizes the great Odysseus. Telemachus is best friends with a centaur, who goes along with him on his quest to find and bring his long-missing father home. Stowing away is Telemachus' childhood friend, Polydora, who of course is cute and spunky and represents the requisite love interest. Exciting adventures make this book a good ...more
I had hopes this might be a book I could recommend to ninth grade boys because they study the Odyssey. I will be interested to see how it circulates in my library. I feel like it might be more of a middle school book. I enjoyed the story but probably not enough action for most boys to hang in there until the end. We'll see...
Holly Schindler
Barrett's passion for the classics shines through in KING OF ITHAKA (I admire the way she's managed to blend her scholarly and writing interests). As I read this, I kept thinking how great it would have been to have this as supplemental reading in my Latin and humanities courses in high school. Great adventure novel.
Theo P
It's good writing, but Odysseus is my favorite Greek hero and then it made him look really bad. And I've read the Odyssey story enough times to know that the ending is not where Odyseus just comes home to collect a new crew. Just read the Odyssey a few times, and you'll see that Odysseus isn't like that. Why would he do all that to return home, and then just decide to go again? It isn't right! They're waiting for him for so long, and then they go searching for him and then they don't find him an ...more
In King of Ithaka, by Tracy Barrett, Telemachos, the son of Odysseus, lives in comfort of the island of Ithaka until it is demanded that there is a new king, since Odysseus has been gone for nearly sixteen years. Telemachos must find the King of Ithaka or he will be force to have a stepfather he does not want. When Telemachos finds his father, after a journey filled with hardship and betrayal, he finds out something he could have never guessed.

The King of Ithaka has no sequel or prequel, but i
Camryn Oliver
Great book

This is a great book to learn from from, great storyline. But, it takes some time to get into. Lol
D.G. Driver
I heard this book just came out in paperback. Great read by one of my favorite Nashville writers.
Laura Cohen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy Barrett's KING OF ITHAKA rules! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) KING is a smart, funny, thought-provoking retelling of the famous tales from Homer, but from Odysseus's son's point-of-view. Sixteen-year-old Telemachos must find his sea-faring, war-mongering father before the kingdom of Ithaka collapses and his mother remarries. Telemachos is a character that teens today will easily relate to, and readers need not be familiar with the classics to understand this tale, though I imagine many a tea ...more
A whole new spin on the Odyssey. New characters, new personalities, and new adventures. This story is from the POV of Telemakos, Oddyseus' son. The books takes you through what it has been like at home w/o his father, and about the trials and adventures Telemakos must go through to save his kingdom and to find his father. I recommend this book to anyone who liked the plot line of the Odyssey but just not the word choice. I am not a fan of olden fancy word choice, which is in the Oddysey, King of ...more
King of Ithaka was a really cool version of the Odyssey from the view of Telemachos. I like how it didn't have the over-glorious style that the real thing did. I didn't expect the ending, but I definitely enjoyed it. It was perhaps better than the actual Odyssey. I also really loved the very ending and how the author sort of sums it up with a poem similar to that of a bard. Anyone who is interested in Greek mythology or really likes the Odyssey (or has strong opinions concerning problems with th ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Ben rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I love the Odyssey and Greek history. I appreciated the subtle references (as well as the millions of outright ones), but felt that the tweak to the classic story wasn't given enough of a focus to make it fit the story. I had lots of questions about how Odysseus' absence worked if it wasn't necessarily the reason given in the Odyssey. I liked the characters and felt the story was similar to The Bronze Bow in its historical accuracy and tone. So I'd recommend it to someone who enjoyed Speare's cl ...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Book Review 1 5 Jan 27, 2013 04:02PM  
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I was born in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York state. I went to college in New England and graduate school in California.

The first book I ever read by myself was called Little Bobo and His Blue Jacket. I still have it. I learned to read when I was three, but I know now that this doesn't mean much. My brother didn't really read until he was seven, and now he reads more and re
More about Tracy Barrett...
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