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A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters—no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining po
Paperback, 524 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Knight Media, LLC
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Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

Homer claimed it tedious to tell again tales already plainly told, but I’d argue his perspective shortsighted as there is nothing tedious about A Sea of Sorrow. Though essentially a retelling of The Odyssey, the collaborative brings fresh perspective to Odysseus’ journey and presents thought-provoking ideas about the ancient world.

Song of Survival and Epilogue by Vicky Alvear Shecter: I grinned when I realized Vicky Alvear
My first read this year, and coincidentally I had also read A Song of War, the H-Team's collective retelling of The Iliad, in January last year. A nice symmetry.

Back then, I had wished they would do The Odyssey next, and lo! here it is. For some reason, I was expecting the same authors, however. So it was a surprise to me to find only three of the familiar names were back for a second round of Homer: Vicky Alvear Shecter, who did Odysseus and now does Penelope and Telemachus, Libbie Hawker, who
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

That final story with Odysseus! WOW!!

It nearly took me a year but I think 1) I went through a reading funk (I barely made my 30 book challenge last year and that was mostly because of the audiobooks and comics I read) and 2) I kept getting stuck in the more boring (IMO) stories (namely the Kyklops and the Sirens ones). Libbie Hawker’s Circe story is FANTASTIC and probably my favorite of this complication.

In short, I definitely enjoyed it despite how long it took me to finish.

Full R
A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus is a collaborative work by six authors who style themselves The H Team: David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield and Gary Corby (Introduction). Each story focuses on one of six “supporting” characters in The Odyssey.

The individual stories are united by a number of common themes and all present the stories in a realistic, prosaic way, shorn of the mythological element of Homer’s version. Here the gods do
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've come to look forward to these exciting books written by an ever-changing group of authors, The H Team--some of whom I've read before and some who introduced me to a whole new batch of books I quickly added to my TBR pile.  In A SEA OF SORROW, authors Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Russell Whitfield, David Blixt, Scot Oden, and Vicky Alvear Shecter bring an ancient world to life with the stories of victims left in the wake of the Greek hero, Odysseus.

I loved each of the six stories within
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
"A Sea of Sorrow" is the story of Odysseus. It is an anthology and the latest offering from the H team, a bunch of powerhouse historical fiction writers. Like their previous offerings, this anthology packs a punch and I am so happy to see anthologies cross over to the historical fiction realm where they don't seem to be found often. After reading this book and the other H team books, it is very perplexing to me as to why this is.

It is no wonder that Odysseus makes for a great retelling. His sto
I haven’t read anything by Homer and while I know the basics of Odyssey and his journey, there is much to learn. Mostly I know Circe, Calypso etc by name but that’s about it. In a way, it’s a good thing since I don’t have anything to compare these characters to.

My favorite chapters were with Penelope. I loved seeing how she manages to keep the throne during all those years her husband was away. She had to be clever to do that since the majority of Ithaca’s men were gone to war or died on the jou
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I first read The Iliad and The Odyssey when I was in high school. It’s been a while since I’ve revisited either tale but they will be there for me whenever I decide to. I do remember being enthralled with Odysseus’s travels while my friends looked at me like I had two heads. High school….

A Sea of Sorrow brings the tales of Odysseus to life but in a very different way than our old friend Homer. There are six short stories in the book each one taking a piece of the legend and telling it from the o
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus is a collection of 6 stories by 6 different authors. These stories include:
Song of Survival by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Xenia in the Court of the Winds by Scott Oden
Hekate's Daughter by Libbie Hawker
The Siren's Song by Amalia Carosella
Calypso's Vow by David Blixt
The King in Waiting by Russell Whitfield
There is, also, an Introduction by Gary Corby and an Epilogue by Vicky Alvear Shecter.
I have to admit, this book is not the genre I normally read. Nor have I read a

I enjoyed this collaborative title a lot more than I did A Song of Troy. Something about it really worked.

Vicky Alvear Shecter writes the first section, following Penelope and Telemakhos, and whilst it isn’t overly ambitious in re-writing the myth or providing a fresh perspective like some of the other entries are, she absolutely nails the voice. It reads like The Odyssey. It was all very familiar, and perfectly pitched. She won bonus points from me for her correct depiction of pederasty. Here’s
Paul Bennett
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
One might ask, 'why another book about Troy; another book about Odysseus?'  Well, in answer to that question, I would say, 'because of the variety of ways the story can be told.'  In A Sea of Sorrow we have that variety - here are told the tales of Odysseus without the elements of mythical monsters or capricious gods and goddesses; not that the monsters and gods are missing from the stories but are only in the minds and beliefs of the participants of the tale.  So, we find Polyphemus, not as a m ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We have all heard of Odysseus' journey and the fanciful tales he brought back while being away for 20 years after the War of Troy. We have heard the stories from Odysseus' point of view, now the H Team brings us the stories from the point of view of those that he told the tales about. Through Penelope, we find out how she ruled singularly as a Queen, through Telemachus, we learn what it was like to grow up without a father and King, we learn the stories behind the Kyklops and Sirens and the witc ...more
Heather C
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having thoroughly enjoyed A Song of War, the prior release from the H Team, I was super excited to see that they were taking on the epic story of The Odyssey. Growing up I had always inhaled the tale of Odysseus and his adventures returning home to his waiting family after ten years of war. I first want to address my thoughts on the individual stories before getting into my overall thoughts.

Song of Sorrow by Vicky Alvear Shecter

It makes complete sense that the collection begins with the story of
Song of Survival by Vicky Alvear Shecter: 4 stars
The first story follows Penelope and Telemachus, and how each of them are struggling after Odysseus’ long absence from home. I really loved Penelope: she was a strong and capable woman, not at all passive and as cunning as her husband. The plot she conceived to safeguard her throne was very smart, and it was a clever explanation for how her future suitors came to be. Telemachus, on the contrary, was a weak character: bereft of a father figure, he
Stephanie (Bookfever)
First of all I want to say that I'm a huge fan of these books. A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion and A Song of War: A Novel of Troy. They were all really great and I simply adore them! Second, I want to say that usually I review each story individually but I'm not doing that this time around. I'm doing things a little differently with A Sea of Sorrow, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think.The primary reason for this is that I didn't actual ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, kindle
A six author historical team are back and are now tackling the people and myths that surround The Oydessy From faithful Penelope, waiting for her Odyesseus to return, to Circe, the Sirens, and Calypso all rising from the ashes of legends to set the record straight, this was a real tour de force. Historical fiction at it's finest! As is my fashion, I will break down each story and assign it a star rating.

Song of Survival and Epilogue Vicky Alvear Schecter 4 stars

Alternatively told through th
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a trip back in time. I feel like I know Penelope, Odysseus, Circe and all the others. not as characters, but as people. It's really impressive how these six authors wove together the threads of the Odyssey into a beautiful, heart-breaking, and coherent tapestry that will hang in the back of my mind for a very long time. Well done, H Team! ...more
Claire Holland
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this take on the Odyssey !!

I love all books from the H Team and their latest instalment didn't disappoint I fell in love with each character as they encountered the wily Odysseus in his travels. And Russell Whitfield's gripping ending left me gasping for more! Brilliant!!
Vicki Cline
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another in a collection of stories by several authors providing details and different viewpoints around a famous work, in this case the Odyssey. We hear what happened to the Cyclops from his POV - he wasn't a monster, just a very large man who happened to have had an injury to one of his eyes. And Circe didn't turn men into pigs, Odysseus just saw a herd of pigs stampeding when he came ashore. In fact, Odysseus is kind of on the sidelines until the second half of the final story. I wish ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Anthology centered on retelling the Odyssey through differing POVs and with a couple fresh ideas. Some stories kinda stiff but liked Oden, Carosella, Shecter’s contributions the most. Rest just okay; readable but not terribly innovative. ★★★½
Kris Irvin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This wasn't my favorite of this type of book but it wasn't my least favorite, so a solid 3 stars. There are only 6 viewpoints in this one so it's got a different feel but it's still enjoyable and worth reading. ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Odysseus tells a tall tale so it was up to this collection of authors to set the record straight. Good stuff.
Juliet Smith
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Greek mythology
I'll admit to being a bit wary of reading this one, since Kate Quinn wasn't one of the authors. After I reading a couple of reviews, I decided to dive in and enjoyed it greatly. My favorite is either Xenia in the Court of the Winds, which has a very different look at Polyphemus, or The Siren's Song, where I found myself rooting for Aglaope to succeed even though I already knew she was doomed to fail. I was a bit disappointed that the Lotus Eaters didn't get a section of their own, but apart from ...more
Brian Moore
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic collaborative effort. Classic tales re-engineered by a group of authors who have to weave magic to fit everything together.
Great idea which I love.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solid 4 stars. This book wasn't as enthralling for me as the previous efforts of the H-Team, but I liked it. Another reviewer said that the stories didn't flow as seamlessly as the other works, and with that, I agree. However, I still enjoyed the stories individually. Particularly, I loved "Xenia in the Court of the Winds," a sympathetic look at the story of the Cyclops, and "Hekate's Daughter," Circe's story in her own words. I also enjoyed reading a version of the Odyssey narrative that didn ...more
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