Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris

A while back I stumbled on Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris at Half Priced Books and picked it for a couple of bucks.  After having read the Merlin Triology by Yolen I decided it was a good time to check out this Young Hero Series.  I had already read one rendition of the Atalanta story (Quiver by Stephanie Spinner) so I was also interested to see how another YA author approached the story.

You really don’t need to know anything about the myth, however, to enjoy the story.  It really reads like a fast paced adventure story.  Here is the publisher’s teaser:

When her adopted father is slain by a strange beast, Atalanta is determined to take care of herself. She is happy in the forest with only her friend Urso — a giant bear — for company. She wants nothing to do with the world of men.

But the ferocious creature that killed her father is still out there, and Atalanta can’t resist the opportunity to hunt it down, even if that means she has to join forces with a group of hunters to do so. Atalanta must prove that she is as strong and brave as any of the others, as they search together for the deadly Arcadian Beast.

It is an interesting blend of action adventure and subtle explorations of issues like family, gender and identity that are so prevalent in Greek mythology

More below.

Continue reading

Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris

A while back I stumbled on Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen & Robert Harris at Half Priced Books and picked it for a couple of bucks.  After having read the Merlin Triology by Yolen I decided it was a good time to check out this Young Hero Series.  I had already read one rendition of the Atalanta story (Quiver by Stephanie Spinner) so I was also interested to see how another YA author approached the story.

You really don’t need to know anything about the myth, however, to enjoy the story.  It really reads like a fast paced adventure story.  Here is the publisher’s teaser:

When her adopted father is slain by a strange beast, Atalanta is determined to take care of herself. She is happy in the forest with only her friend Urso — a giant bear — for company. She wants nothing to do with the world of men.

But the ferocious creature that killed her father is still out there, and Atalanta can’t resist the opportunity to hunt it down, even if that means she has to join forces with a group of hunters to do so. Atalanta must prove that she is as strong and brave as any of the others, as they search together for the deadly Arcadian Beast.

It is an interesting blend of action adventure and subtle explorations of issues like family, gender and identity that are so prevalent in Greek mythology

More below.

Continue reading

The Young Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen

I recently took my kids to the public library and, as usual, came home with a couple of YA titles – three to be exact. They make up the The Young Merlin Trilogy: Passager, Hobby, and Merlin by Jane Yolen.

The books I read were actually three separate books (as pictured throughout) but I figured I would review them all under this one combined volume:

This is the legendary story of Merlin–from his abandonment by his parents at the age of eight to the discovery of his powers at twelve. Together, these three novels reimagine the origins of the greatest wizard of all time, giving readers a Merlin at once more human and more magical than any that has appeared before.

I found them to be interesting chapter books that explore the childhood of Merlin in poetic and dream like prose. Despite their unique style and structure they are captivating and entertaining reads.

More below.

Continue reading