Author: Stanley, Diane
Prince Alexos, the long-awaited champion of the goddess Athene, follows the course of his destiny through war and loss and a deadly confrontation with his enemy to its end: shipwreck on a magical, fog-shrouded island. There he meets the unforgettable Aria and faces the greatest challenge of his life. Based loosely on Shakespeare's The Tempest.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 171977
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 65453
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/15)
The Hornbook (00/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Stanley's newest fantasy, set in ancient Greece, is a bittersweet delight. Prince Alexos learns early that being the champion of a goddess does not make for an easy life. Alexos is destined to bring about reconciliation between battling gods, Athene and Zeus, if he can survive a childhood filled with near-impossible challenge and little joy, except for his love of running and his little brother Teo. However, by the age of 12, even these are lost to him. As he struggles to regain the use of his legs and recover from causing the death of his beloved brother, Alexos learns from a wise mentor, develops relationships with people from all levels of society, and becomes a force for good. At the same time, he is comforted by visions of his brother in the land of the dead, living an idyllic life with a new father and sister. However, the protagonist soon learns that all is not as it seems. Alexos is a strong character, capable of accepting and adapting to change, even as he struggles with heartbreak and almost insurmountable odds. Other characters—especially the court physician Suliman and Teo's new sister Aria—are equally well done. The language is lyrical and accessible, and the end is satisfying in the extreme.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2015 Foretold at birth to be the goddess Athene’s hero-redeemer and save the kingdom from Zeus’ curse, twelve-year-old prince Alexos has grown up under constant scrutiny, with only his love of running and his beloved younger brother Teo to bring him joy. Then a wasting disease cripples his legs and Teo goes missing at sea, leaving Alexos devastated. Forced to prove that he can still rule, he finds surprising bodily and inner strength and a new cadre of friends who grow into loyal advisors. However, he feels responsible for his brother’s loss, and he’s haunted by guilt and a yearning for forgiveness. Seven years later, Athene arranges for just that, when a shipwreck strands Alexos and his comrades on a magical island where Teo has been living happily with a foster family. There Alexos, now king, has the chance to fulfill his destiny, triumphing over his kingdom’s longtime enemy, finding love and family, and bringing peace and prosperity to two nations. The first part of this middle-grade fantasy offers a remarkable coming of age story, with a poignant mixture of heartbreak and resiliency. The characters are almost too good, revealing a depth of kindness and wisdom that limits their relatability, but that quality gives the narrative a legendary air and recalls classic hero-education stories like White’s The Once and Future King. The second part of the novel is unfortunately less successful; weighed down by extensive exposition and backstory, it leaves little room for actual plot. Instead, readers are left with a quick, tidy resolution and a deus ex machina that has little to do with Alexos and his hard-earned personal growth. Still, the novel as a whole has a solid, wholesome feel that may win over readers with its flawed but worthy hero and its strong hero-myth conventions. AM - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.