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King of Ithaka

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  263 Ratings  ·  71 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 War began many 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, Telem

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Oct 10, 2011 TheBookSmugglers rated it really liked it
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 –
Apr 11, 2017 Deanna rated it it was ok
I was severely disappointed.

I guess I set myself up for it, expecting a tale as grand as the one of Odysseus. But what I got was a cheep knock off that didn't even follow the Odyssey. For a retelling from Odysseus's son - and the main hero of the story - it sure didn't seem to be "the 'Odessey' as told by Telemachos (his son)", it was a completely different story with a completely different ending than the Odessey.
Scribbler King
Mar 07, 2011 Scribbler King rated it really liked it
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
Jan 12, 2016 Abigail rated it liked it
When Telemachos realizes he has outgrown his tunic and sandals, reality strikes. He is 16 and his father has been gone ever since he can remember, something is not right. In Greek mythology, Telemachos is the son of the great hero Odysseus from Homer’s poem The Odyssey. The book King of Ithaka is the story of The Odyssey told through the son’s eyes, waiting for his father to return. How far would you go for a father you never knew?
Telemachos has a comfortable life living as the prince of Ithaka
Apr 16, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
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
E. Anderson
Nov 17, 2010 E. Anderson rated it really liked it
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
Aurora Dimitre
I will preface this by saying that I'm not as familiar with The Odyssey as I should be. I know the basics; I know what happens to the dude as he tries to get home, I know how he proves himself to be himself, but that's really just all basic background knowledge. Not enough to know a bunch about other characters than Odysseus.

So this was fun!

There were a few cons; the writing style was a little bit clunky at first and took a bit to get into, and the romance seemed a little... fast. But other tha
Laurie Gray
Aug 11, 2013 Laurie Gray rated it it was amazing
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
Holly Schindler
Apr 18, 2014 Holly Schindler rated it it was amazing
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.
May 19, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology-based
Telemachos gets center-stage in this Odysseus retelling. He's kind of a bumbling prince, more likely to sneak off with his centaur buddy to watch the local girls swimming than to worry too much about his small kingdom or his mother, Penelope. And how can you miss a dad you've never known? Slowly, slowly, Telemachos wakes up to his situation and sets out to rectify it.
Apr 17, 2010 P.J. rated it it was amazing
Book 65 for 2010.
This is a fabulous twist on the tale of Odysseus told from his son, Telemachos' point of view. I love the use of mythology and I love the surprise ending. The more I think about it, the more clever I think it becomes. Very well executed. Recommended for fans of mythology, sixth grade and up, boys and girls.
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.
Oct 12, 2010 April rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, 2010
Nice prose style with a lot of information about daily life in Ancient Greece sprinkled through, but the ending felt rushed.
Camryn Oliver
Mar 10, 2015 Camryn Oliver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This is a great book to learn from from, great storyline. But, it takes some time to get into. Lol
Luke Pellerin
Jun 16, 2017 Luke Pellerin rated it really liked it
For my book review I chose to read King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett. This story is based off The Odyssey by Homer. However, King of Ithaka is the story of Telemachos, Odysseus’ son. Odysseus has been missing ever since he set sail to fight the war in Troy, leaving his family behind while Telemachos was just an infant. The problem is that the people of Ithaka are demanding a new king unless Odysseus’ happens to return. For this reason, Telemachos must go on a dangerous and exciting journey to find ...more
Aurora Celeste
Dec 23, 2010 Aurora Celeste rated it liked it
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
Kim Miner Litton
Jan 18, 2011 Kim Miner Litton rated it liked it
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
Nov 05, 2011 Mara rated it it was ok
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
Tyler Buechel
Oct 19, 2012 Tyler Buechel rated it it was ok
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
Jun 18, 2010 Kelsey rated it really liked it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. Yingling
Mar 14, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
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
Ms. Z
Jan 21, 2013 Ms. Z rated it it was ok
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
Devin Logan
Dec 12, 2013 Devin Logan rated it liked it
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
Beth Dailey Kenneth
Feb 17, 2011 Beth Dailey Kenneth rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2010 Theo rated it did not like it
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
Laura Cohen
Jan 15, 2012 Laura Cohen rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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