This round of Mythothon is a journey-style adventure, featuring the voyage of Odysseus as he tries to get home to his wife and kingdom after the Trojan War.
All the information is available on the Announcement Post and at the Twitter page (@mythothon)
Here’s my (likely) TBR for the month.
The Greeks have conquered Troy and now they are going back home.
Read a book set in a country not your own.
Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody, #4) by Elizabeth Peters.
I’m enjoying the slightly smug protagonist and ‘old-school’ adventure film feel of these novels. Like the other books I’ve read so far in this (huge) series, this one is set in Egypt. To be honest, I suspect the whole series is.
Odysseus and his men land on the island of the Cicones to raid it, taking all the food, water, and gold. Not his proudest moment.
Read a book about a villain.
Kingdom of the Wicked ( Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
We have a character called “Wrath, one of the Wicked Princes of Hell” and a protagonist determined to “to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden” so I’ve got my fingers crossed for dark, morally ambiguous characters.
Odysseus and his men dock on the island of the cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. Polyphemus eats some of Odysseus’ men but Odysseus tricks the cyclops into blinding himself so they can escape. He tells Polyphemus his name is Nobody, so when Poseidon asks who is to blame, the cyclops tells him, “Nobody”.
Read a book you know nothing (or very little) about.
Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon
I’ve read some of Lanyon’s contemporary romance/ mysteries, so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on with this fantasy.
4. Island of Aeolia.
The Wind God, Aeolus, gave Odysseus a bag of west winds, not to be opened until they returned to Ithaca. Impatient, Odysseus’ men opened it before they reached Ithaca and threw themselves massively off-course, making the journey even longer.
Read a book that is not the first in a series.
Slashing Through the Snow (Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #3) by Jacqueline Frost
It might be a tad early for Christmas books, but I enjoy this series and I’m excited to get to it. (Also, it’s a ARC so…)
The Laestrygonians were cannibals. Odysseus and his men flee the island, back towards their ships but the giants throw boulders at the ships. Only Odysseus’ ship gets away.
Read a book with food in the title or on the cover.
Mistletoe and Murder (Murder Most Unladylike #5) by Robin Stevens
I’m still really enjoying this historical MG mysteries. And look! Another Christmas book! This one’s entirely coincidental, I promise, but I can’t wait until any nearer the holidays to crack on with the series.
They sailed to Aeaea, an island inhabited by the witch, Circe. Circe turns Odysseus’ men into pigs and keeps them there for a year.
Read a book that has a protagonist with a skill.
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson
I actually know practically nothing about this one, but the synopsis starts with “Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on”.
7. Teiresias and the Land of the Dead.
Odysseus follows Circe’s directions to the Underworld in search of the prophet Tiresias. Tiresias tells him how to get home.
Read a book you think you’ll learn something from.
Empress of the East: How a Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce
I’ve been obsessed with the Turkish historical soap opera Magnificent Century for months now (obsessed), and it’s made me keen to see if I can find some more factual accounts of the characters involved.
Odysseus returns to the island of Circe to retrieve his men and bury their dead.
Return to a book and reread it.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
I’ve been wanting to reread this one for a while.
The Sirens are creatures that lure men towards them with their singing, causing ships to break on the rocks. Odysseus puts beeswax into the ears of his men to keep them from hearing the Sirens’ dangerous song.
Read any book that calls to you.
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft
Obviously, a month from now this might have changed, but I just bought a copy of this book, and it seems like the kind of thing that would be right up my alley.
10. Charybdis and Scylla.
The Scylla is a six headed creature that would take six men from each ship that passed by. Charybdis was a whirlpool that might destroy the whole ship. Odysseus had to choose between the two, which one to pass closer to. He loses six more men.
Pick two books. Flip a coin (or some other type of chance) to pick between them.
Cinnamon Blade: Knife in Shining Armor by Shira Glassman
I picked two Shira Glassman novella’s for this flip, which leaves me with the other, Your Name is Love, for another day.
The crew are hungry and slaughter the cattle of Helios, the sun god. When Helios finds out, he has Zeus destroy their ship.
Read a book with an animal on the cover.
Making Money (Discworld #36) by Terry Pratchett
I’m still dipping in-and-out of my (hundredth) Discworld reread, and I think this is one I’ve actually only read the once. I reread Going Postal this month though, so I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time with Moist.
Odysseus washes up on Ogygia where the goddess Calypso lives. He stays there for seven years. Athena eventually steps in and asks Zeus to let Odysseus go.
Read a book that has been recommended by a friend.
White Trash Warlock (Adam Binder #1) by David R. Slayton
I don’t actually know what this one’s about, but I’ve been told I’ll enjoy it.
Odysseus drifts to the island of the Phaeacians and is found by the daughter of Alcinous and Arete, Nausicaa. Odysseus convinces Alcinous to help him get home.
Read a book with royalty.
Whether because this prompt is nearer the end or because I just have more books that fit, I actually have a few ideas for this one and any of them would fit. I could reread more Discworld with either Witches Abroad or Carpe Jugulum, or continue onto the third in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Calling on Dragons by Patricia Wrede), or I might try one of the princess-y MGs I’ve been eyeing, Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower 1) by Jessica Day George.
After 10 years at war, and 10 years of traveling, Odysseus is finally home at Ithaca! But, before he can officially return to his family, he must kick out the suitors squatting in his house and trying to marry his wife. Disguised as a beggar, Odysseus kills all the suitors.
Read a story you got for free (e.g.: library book, borrowed, tor.com for short stories or Gutenberg for classics etc.).
What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
An ARC, and an overdue one at that. I definitely need to read this freebie.
Now, this might be overstretching myself TBR-wise, but if I’m in the mood to really dive into the theme of this particular round of the readathon, these five all sound really good. They all seem like they’ll have a different style and vibe too, so should keep me interested.
The Odyssey by Homer, (trans.) Emily Wilson
I’d like to read the source material for this round, since i’s so fascinating and seems quite manageable. Jorie (@joriestory) suggested this edition as she was listening to the Claire Danes narration and thought it very well done. I remember hearing about Wilson’s translation when it first came out. It’s the first time The Odyssey has been translated by a woman and apparently challenges some of the stuffy, old translators assumptions.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
This would be a reread for me, and it’s also the official group book. It covers the end of the Trojan War and it’s aftermath, from the perspectives of the many different women often overlooked in retellings. Specifically, it has letters from Penelope written to Odysseus during the war and his journey home, letting you see how the time apart affects her.
Ithaka by Adèle Geras
Set while Penelope waits for her husbands return home and the island is hosting the many suitors. “Told through the eyes of Klymene, a young girl who is like a daughter to Penelope–and who longs for more than friendship from the young prince Telemachus”.
Ithaca Forever: Penelope Speaks by Luigi Malerba (trans. Douglas Grant Heise)
Sensing a theme? “After twenty years, Odysseus finally returns to Ithaca, but instead of receiving the homecoming he had hoped for finds himself caught in an intense battle of wills with his faithful and long-suffering wife Penelope.”
Athena’s Champion (Olympus Trilogy #1) by David Hair & Cath Mayo
Another overdue ARC I’m afraid. This one stars Odysseus as a young man, and sounds a bit lighter and more adventure-y than the others.