Review Blog

Jul 11 2013

Murder at Mykenai by Catherine Mayo

cover image

Walker Books, 2013. ISBN 9781922077943.
(Age 14 +) Recommended. This is a vibrant and credible historical novel for teens. It recreates the atmosphere of Ancient Greece with all the brutality, violence and political intrigue that would have belonged to the era. And in a move that will delight teenage readers, the main characters in this novel are teenagers themselves, albeit teenagers whose names will be familiar with anyone who has a passing interest in Ancient times.
The young Odysseus in this novel is adventurous and daring, quick to act on his own desires but also smart enough to know how best to plot and plan and manipulate others into doing his bidding.Whilst on a visit to Mykenai with his father, Odysseus befriends the shy Menelaos, second son to the King. However, when this king is brutally killed, Menelaos and his brother, Agamemnon must flee for their lives and it is some months before the friends meet again. At this meeting it is clear to Odysseus that young Menelaos is a shadow of his former self, however, with political plotting hinged on a delicate balance, Odysseus finds that he must take great care when trying to help his friend.
Whilst young readers will enjoy the action and adventure and the historical feel of this book, teachers and librarians should be aware that the subject of rape becomes a strong driver of plot and character in the second half of the novel. Although this is handled sensitively by the author and it is mentioned after the event rather than described in detail, the inclusion of this theme may make the novel more suited to mature readers.
Deborah Marshall

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates