Saturday, May 29, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Black Ships by Jo Graham

A weekly meme hosted by Alipet at That's a Novel Idea

1 Book I Read: Black Ships by Jo Graham

2 Words that describe the book:  Ancient Times

3  Settings where it took place or characters you met:

1. The story is set in the time following the fall of Wilusa (Troy) and is based on the The Aeneid - the search by Prince Aeneas and his surviving people for a new homeland. Their journey in the black ships takes them to many places around the Mediterranean.
2, Gull - her mother is a Wilusan , captured and taken as a slave to Pylos where Gull is born. When a childhood accident leaves her with a crippled foot her mother knows she will never be able to work in the flax fields so places her in the care of Pythia, an oracle and priestess of the Goddess of the Dead. When it is discovered she has the gift of Sight Gull is trained to become the next Oracle.
3. Prince Aeneas, a man carrying the burden of responsibilty for the future of his people...........Xanthos , his friend and advisor .

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

1. I liked the way the author has taken one of world's greatest epic poems and and created a world of real people and the real events they were involved in.
2. I liked the author's prose style. It's simple but with a beautiful, lyrical quality ....." Long before it touched the rocks where I sat it cast the mountains as long shadows across the plain, across the shape of the river. Beyond, it kindled the sea like a mirror, silver in the morning. Making toward Pylos in the bright sun were nine black ships".
3. I liked the development of the relationships between the three main characters. A beautiful love story and the deep bonds of loyalty and honour of friendship .
4. I liked, as always, the extras. A map and a glossary to help with the strange names and places, an interview with the author and a reading group guide.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

4 Stars - a lovely historical novel and I look forward to reading more from Jo Graham.


  1. Wow, does this sound good. I'm so glad you included the quote- shows how beautifully the author writes. Maps and extras are always a welcome addition in a book. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I love it when maps and stuff like family trees, etc are included in historical fiction. It just makes the book so much more enjoyable to read. Thanks for telling us about this book!

  3. Meant to also say how much I like the cover!

  4. It is a lovely cover and a lovely story.

  5. I had not heard of this one before. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the review! I like the cover, too.

  6. Her books look so good. This cover is great (although I don't like the mass market one). I really want to read Hand of Isis. After a long phase of only reading Egyptian fiction, I still have a soft spot for them. If I just had more hours in the day, I could get to all the books I want to read. Thank you for reminding me about Ms. Graham.