Friday, May 29, 2015

Orpheus in the Underworld (TOON Books)

Orpheus in the Underworld is the second volume from TOON Books in their Greek mythology graphic novel series by Yvan Pommaux. The first one was Theseus and the Minotaur, which I had the pleasure of reviewing last September. The tale of Orpheus is one that mythology buffs, like my wife, will recognize. I, however, needed a refresher course, and this book proved to be just the ticket. Orpheus was the son of the king of Thrace and Calliope, who was one of the nine muses. After he was born, Calliope had to return to Mount Olympus to entertain the gods, so she asked Apollo to give Orpheus his lyre. Orpheus' musical talent was natural and passed down from his mother. One day Orpheus was performing and fell in love with Eurydice. They were married, but she died very early. He therefore decided to follow her down to the underworld and try and bring her back. You'll have to buy the book to see if he succeeds!

Overall, the illustration style was very pleasing to the eye. The story was a mixture of narration blocks and character interactions with the traditional bubble text. A pleasant surprise for me was that the complaints I had about Theseus and the Minotaur were not present in this book. There was a love story, but the story didn't have sexual overtones like in Theseus. The story stayed true to the original myth and didn't try to change it or make it modern, which I always appreciate. Lastly, there were phonetic pronunciations of the hard to say Greek names; an index of characters and places; and even a further reading list! I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to see what the third volume will be in this series!

This book was provided to me for free by TOON Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!