King of Ithaca is the first book in this series about the Greek warrior and hero Odysseus. The story begins with Laertes still the King but there is a revolt brewing that threatens to remove Laertes and his line as the royal family. Odysseus is consulting the oracle on Mt. Parnassus about his future. It is this journey where he meets the other main protagonist of the book, Eperitus, an exiled prince looking to find glory under a new lord. The Odysseus in this story is not portrayed in the Homeric mode but is rather more human than mythic. His crafty like nature is not some spur of the moment inspiration, instead Odysseus wrestles with each problem to find solutions. There is doubt and anguish involved in the process. This very human quality is found in all of the characters involved including the three main women in the story, Helen, Penelope and the most formidable of them, Clytaemnestra.
In juxtaposition to the human equation we find a taste of the Olympians mainly in the portrayal of Athena. She has promised to lend her aid to Odysseus in his quest to reclaim the throne of Ithaca but you know Olympians, they can be a bit fickle at times and Odysseus knows this.
There are many scenes of action, battles with human foes and one with a monster in the mythic tradition, and a sort of humorous scene of the hero Ajax entering the hall of Tyndareus in Sparta. He reminded me somewhat of Angus Donald’s Little John but on steroids. There are also a few well placed quirks in the story line that make one pause for a second to negotiate an unexpected turn in the road. It is a very enjoyable account of my favorite Greek hero, Odysseus and look forward to continuing his story in the sequel. This book rates a strong 4 stars.